STRONG PERFORMANCE FOR SUZUKA ROOKIE REA
Brit Gino Rea was one of the surprise performances of this year’s Suzuka race, as only a crash denied him and the Toho Honda squad a chance at finishing fourth on his debut at the high-profile race.
Quick all weekend both in practice and superpole, a crash from Rea in the second hour left the team with a lot of work to do – and the World Supersport racer heartbroken.
“I’m devastated. The slip off in the second hour cost us a lot of minutes, put us several laps back, and out of the top 50. After that, things went smoothly and the pace from all three of us was good enough to take us back to 11th at the end.
“But I’m gutted, because we could have been fourth. We crashed out of fifth, and we had much better pace than the fourth placed guys – and to do that as a privateer team, top Honda and on my debut at Suzuka would have been an incredible achievement.”
There is one silver lining for the Londoner though, with the race potentially able to play a keen part in his plans for the future – and for an eventual promotion to the World Superbike championship.
“We’ve proved that we have really good pace though, and my last run was at the same pace as the leaders. Hopefully that shows that I’m able to ride a superbike well. The ultimate goal for me is to get on a superbike and to get on a good one.”