Jonathan Rea says his debut weekend with the Kawasaki Racing Team has boosted his confidence levels ahead of his first visit to Thailand.
Rea shares the championship lead after a victory and a second-place at Phillip Island and the Ulsterman admits the results exceeded his expectations given the characteristics of the ZX-10R. Rea was particularly impressed with the way his crew adapted throughout the opening weekend and he feels that will stand him in good stead for the challenge of a brand new circuit.
“To be honest we had a much better start in Australia then we imagined. I know we were quite reserved with targets at Phillip Island as it had not been a circuit that has favoured the bike but we managed the set-up quite well. I was surprised with our pace. What I did learn was that all week we had been having some problems but Pere, Paolo and the guys at Showa worked it out and on race day we had a package to ride a strong 22 laps each time. That really impressed me. In the end I had a bike that I was really happy with. That gives me a little extra confidence now and because things are still reasonably fresh for me, to have that feeling is good. I have been in Thailand for a while and I always had a plan to come out for a week before the race. We never got to go on a family holiday last year so we are taking a few days here to recharge the batteries ready for round two, and to get acclimatised to the conditions a little.”
Teammate Tom Sykes is looking to get his championship challenge up and running after an underwhelming start in Australia and the Yorkshireman is upbeat ahead of the inaugural Thai WSBK round.
“I am looking forward to the first ever WSB race in Thailand. We are competing in a world championship and we are certainly doing more overseas races now. I am really looking forward to going to the new venue and I know from experience that the fans in that part of the world are fanatical about bikes as well. We have seen the circuit layout and for me it looks like what we generally expect from a European circuit, hairpins and not so many long, long corners. The circuit is obviously a new challenge for everybody and I am sure the temperature and humidity will be something different.”