Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes are both optimistic of challenging for pole position and race victory on Saturday after claiming a Kawasaki 1-2 in Friday practice at Buriram. Rea set the pace in both sessions as he looks to maintain his perfect start while Sykes leapt from fifth in FP1 to second in FP2, ensuring he will join his team-mate in SP2.
Having devoted much of FP2 to race preparation, Rea is confident of managing his tyre over a longer distance but admits he will need to make a tweak or two to challenge Sykes in Superpole.
“We focused on a race simulation at the start of the afternoon session and then at the end I just waited to set a time until the last laps. We did not want to put too many laps on my preferred tyre choices. We do not have a massive allocation of my favourite front tyres so I was testing the one-step softer front tyre, in readiness for Superpole. It wasn’t so bad but with more grip the bike worked quite differently on track. At the end of the race simulation, the bike was working really well. But when we added more grip was a bit different. So I will have to change some things in my riding style, to be honest, when I go on a time attack tomorrow in Superpole. All on all, we are pretty OK.”
Sykes is also looking to make slight improvements to his ZX-10RR as he aims to opening his victory account for the season and close the gap on the series leader.
“I am fairly happy because we started off steadily in the morning. In the last moment of FP2, because of the changes we made during the sessions, we got to where we needed to be before the first race on Saturday. That gives me satisfaction about today’s work. Overall the lap time was not too bad but obviously we need to look to improve the set-up slightly. As Fridays go, I am quite happy with what we did. The track is quite grippy in general, offering consistency too. A couple of other guys have really strong pace but hopefully we will be part of the leading train like last year.”