Jonathan Rea says he is ready to make the most of his MotoGP opportunity with Repsol Honda this weekend at Misano. The Ulsterman, who represents Honda in the Superbike World Championship, will make his Grand Prix debut in place of the injured Casey Stoner and feels the three days of testing have helped ease him into MotoGP.
“For me it’s a big dream come true just to race in MotoGP; it’s been very unfortunate for Casey to sustain such an injury when he was having a very strong season and my best wishes go to him while he recovers. Now, my job is to replace him and I will try to do the best I can. I love Misano, I’ve already raced there this year and I finished second, it’s also where I had my first ever Superbike win in 2009 and I enjoy the circuit and the Italian fans, they are always very enthusiastic. I take this opportunity like a great gift from Honda; in the few days I’ve spent with the team I have felt very good, they understand it will take me some time to push with this bike but I’m learning every time I get on it. It’s been great to have these 3 days testing on the bike to prepare myself and for sure Friday morning will be less chaotic. We already have the riding position set, the base setup is set and I understand the electronics a little more. I know it’s going to be busy, but I’m ready”.
With Rea set for a hectic weekend, Repsol Honda’s victory hopes will continue to rest on the shoulders of Dani Pedrosa. The Spaniard heads to San Marino with all the momentum in the championship fight with victories in the last two races and is focused on closing Jorge Lorenzo’s thirteen point lead.
“Misano is a tricky track, quite bumpy, with a lot of braking and accelerations. The grip level is always a challenge, because it changes a lot from the morning sessions to the afternoon. In the past, our bike has been quite unstable there but I believe this year we have improved that. I hope the work we have done in the Brno and Aragon tests with suspension and electronics, can help us to start the weekend strong in Misano. We need to continue working in the same way, focusing on our bike’s performance and my riding to keep reducing the gap in the Championship”.