WSBK Indonesia: Jonathan Rea second fastest on day one, 'optimistic' over Saturday chances
Jonathan Rea says he is ‘optimistic’ he can fight for victory in Saturday’s opening race after finishing second quickest in free practice at the final round of the World Superbike Championship in Indonesia.
The Kawasaki rider was 0.174s down on title favourite Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha), who holds a 30-point advantage ahead of the first race (0700 GMT).
Friday presented the first chance for riders to get to grips with the new Mandalika International Street Circuit on the island of Lombok for the first time, over a month on from the penultimate round of the series in Argentina.
Rea, who is aiming to win the world crown for a seventh successive year, said: “I spent more than half the session in the pit-box this morning, which had a knock-on effect to learn the track. But in FP2 I think we did a positive job to find a good rhythm and the bike is working OK.
“There is still margin to improve in some areas, so I am quite optimistic to fight tomorrow in Race One.”
Giving his impressions of the 4.3km circuit, the 34-year-old said he enjoyed the impressive layout of the track on Friday.
“The track is nice, the layout is nice, but it is just quite dirty out there, especially off line. FP2 was a big step compared to FP1 with a lot of rubber laid down,” said Rea, who was 11th fastest in the morning session after missing much of the session with a technical issue with his Kawasaki ZX-10RR.
“The layout is very good and it has a different character. The last corner is a bit like Termas in Argentina, T1 feels almost like Donington; turn two to three is like a smaller version of Misano T1 and T2.
“The middle sectors are really fast and they are where you make the lap time. If the bike is working a little bit better then you carry all that speed through.”
The final free practice session takes place on Saturday followed by Superpole qualifying (0310-0325 GMT), with the first race at 0700 GMT. On Sunday, the Superpole race is scheduled for 0300 GMT with race two at 0700 GMT.
Friday’s combined times:
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 1’34.230s
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.174s
3. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) +0.225s
4. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) +0.230s
5. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.349s
6. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) +0.371s
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