Rea fifth but not far away at Donington

Jonathan Rea fifth quickest on Friday at Donington Park but only a tenth off the top spot and ahead of title rival Alvaro Bautista
Rea fifth but not far away at Donington

Jonathan Rea feels poised to strike ahead of a potentially crucial World Superbike Championship round at Donington Park as he comfortably outpaced title rival Alvaro Bautista in Friday practice.

The Ulsterman was fifth quickest at the end of FP2 but only 0.126secs adrift of the top spot in a closely-matched session, whereas Bautista was sixth best but more than three tenths away from pace setter Tom Sykes.

Struggling initially with set-up on his Kawasaki ZX-10RR, though Rea was slower than both Toprak Razgatlioglu and Leon Haslam, he feels has much more to come ahead of qualifying and race one.

“I was able to do a long run this afternoon and I felt great physically, which was a positive after the first day. The bike was more difficult to ride this morning and I struggled to get any weight onto the front to help the bike turn, especially in the fast areas.

“I also went back a little bit with my riding position, because I felt I had so much weight on the rear of the bike. I was getting traction, but it was not finishing the corner in the best way.

“This afternoon I felt very comfortable, my rhythm was much faster and I was doing it comfortably - which is always nice here. We are not far away for the first day, really, so we will keep working.”