Jonathan Rea admitted the results at Phillip Island today surpassed even his own expectations. The Kawasaki rider pipped Leon Haslam to victory in race one and although the Aprilia rider turned the tables in race two, Rea leaves Australia with a share of the championship lead, something he didn’t expect to be doing when he arrived at Phillip Island.
“I could not have had a better weekend. The team were not so optimistic about winning races or being on the podium here with the pace of some other bikes but together with Pere, Paolo, Javier, all the guys from Showa, all my mechanics, we worked really hard and never lost sight of our goal, which was to be strong for 22-laps each time. Leon just had more pace today in each race, so race one fell in my hands a little, but I am so happy to be getting out of here with 45 points and starting the season strongly. I did not expect these results at all. We were not the most optimistic so to be just pipped by a small margin in race two, and by my old team-mate Leon, I am happy for him. We did the maximum we could and came away with the maximum points we could have had. I am happy and excited to move on from here with 45 points.”
Tom Sykes’ weekend never truly recovered from the disrupted Superpole which left him eighth on the grid. The Yorkshireman was pushed wide by Michael van der Mark in race one before recovering to finish sixth while fourth was the best he could manage in race two. Sykes laid the blame for the race one incident squarely at the door of van der Mark but overall, was content with the 23 points he picked up.
“In race one I was given no room going into turn one and had to run wide. It was one of those things and he (van der Mark) could have easily left me some room, but he didn’t. It changed the outlook of my race but we have come away with some points on the board. In race two we made some changes to the bike set-up and I was able to be with the leaders in the beginning of the race but unfortunately we had some limitation with the front feeling. I was not quite able to put the bike where I wanted it and suffered a little but in the middle to exit of the corners. Jonathan did a great job for Kawasaki and that was good to see. Now we will leave Phillip Island with a lot more information and I hope we can use this to be stronger in the next rounds.”