WSBK: Jonathan Rea aiming to close gap on Davies at Imola

Jonathan Rea in action in Imola.

Jonathan Rea in action in Imola.

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Jonathan Rea says he has work to do if he’s to bridge the gap to World Superbike rival Chaz Davies at Imola in Italy.

Welshman Davies was 0.4 seconds clear after FP2 on the Aruba.it Ducati on Friday and Rea, who was quickest in the morning session, is seeking more stability from the front-end of his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR.

“In agility and handling the bike is working really well and it is really consistent,” Rea said.

“We just need more stability in the front and we can only change that with more time.

“We worked with the spring balance in that second session and the more spring I had the more potential I was able to use.

“That means we need to change some bigger settings than those tomorrow to use all the potential on the brakes.”

Rea remains upbeat but acknowledges that Davies, who won both races at Imola in 2016, currently has the upper hand by some margin.

“I am optimistic but for sure we need to bridge the gap to the fastest rider from today. There is actually quite a big gap at the front and Chaz is riding really strong here with good rhythm so we need to keep improving.

“I did an interrupted long run, because of the red flag, but in the last laps I did one of my personal best times. It looks like we can push the tyre a bit more and I have some ideas about that.”

Tom Sykes was third fastest, a further four tenths adrift, with Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Ducati), Xavi Fores (Barni Ducati), and Alex Lowes on the Pata Yamaha.

Toome’s Eugene Laverty ninth on the Milwaukee Aprilia.

Race one takes place on Saturday from 12:00 BST.