Jonathan Rea was buoyed by his Pata CBR1000 Honda’s pace after qualifying in third place for Sunday’s World Superbike double-header at Magny-Cours.
|The CBR’s performance has been a cause for optimism
Photo: Pata Honda
The Northern Irishman’s time of 1min 36.9s was good enough for his first front row start since the Portuguese round of the series in July. It was also four hundredths of a second under Tom Sykes’ two-year old circuit record.
Sitting 67 points behind championship leader Sykes in the overall standings, Rea is still in title contention with 100 points up for grabs. With several developments on his CBR allowing him to change direction quickly on the twisty Magny-Cours layout, Rea feels he is in good shape for the races.
“I’m really satisfied with our work because the team has given me a great package here that I can ride really hard. I feel that in the race we’re more prepared because the CBR is quite easy to ride and changing direction here is really good. We’ve been working on acceleration and maximising the power where we need and also taking some away where it’s maybe too much.”
Rea set his fastest time on his second run in the 15-minute SP2 shoot-out, having made a costly error on his first flying lap.
“In Superpole I made a small mistake on my first lap with the qualifier and ran into the first turn too quickly which ruined the lap. I tried to give it a good go on the second lap and was able to finish on the front row. It gives me an opportunity for a good start and my starts have been really good this year. It’s very important to be on the front row because the hairpin is a big bottleneck for the riders on the first lap. Hopefully we can be at the front of that and set myself up for a good rhythm in the races.”