Gino Rea came through a challenging Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez to claim his first world championship point on Sunday. The Briton struggled on his debut in Qatar but looked much more comfortable on his second outing, beating a number of former GP winners and world champions in the process.
Rea was riding an updated Moriwaki and feels it was a step forward from the bike he raced in Qatar, something which bodes well with Estoril just days away.
“The race has been the highlight of a tough weekend. I got a good start, I was up to thirteenth and I tried to hang in there as long as I could. Once the fuel load went down I struggled to keep my pace up and had a couple of moments where I almost crashed, like a lot of riders out there. It was a shame they stopped the race when they did actually because I’d just passed Iannone when they showed the red flag so that dropped me back a position. This race was a test for us to try some settings with the new bike and the good thing is that despite limited track time over the course of the weekend we can look back on it now and see that we have made progress. We only have a couple of days until the next round and I am glad because I can’t wait to get back out on track.”
Gresini teammate Ratthapark Wilairot struggled by comparison and finished down in 26th place. The Thai rider was at a loss to explain his lack of pace and is keen to find a solution before this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix.
“We need to have a long look at the data because clearly this situation is not normal and this position does not reflect my potential. At the moment I can’t do much more than this unfortunately so we need to work hard to find a solution as soon as possible.”
Fausto Gresini admits the team have greater ambitions than simply to score points and has promised an improvement in the upcoming races.
“It isn’t a brilliant result for us but it was important to get points on the board and we have taken a step forward from Qatar. It is pretty obvious that all the Moriwaki riders are having problems. This kind of result is not what we are aiming for but we have a week until the next race and a lot of hard work ahead to improve our situation.”
“I am disappointed with the situation that Ratthapark finds himself in and determined to put a smile back on his face. The next race is in a week’s time and it will be difficult to fix things before then but soon we will put him in a position to demonstrate his true potential.”