The rider sat out this morning’s free practice session, which was held in atrociously cold, wet and windy conditions. However, Rea lapped the circuit in a time of 1’31.560 to take provisional second place behind pace setter Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes, who crashed unhurt at the Old Hairpin as rain fell at the end of the session. Rea hopes the weather improves for tomorrow so he can get more laps under his belt to test his new electronics package and to improve his bike.
“It was OK today but it’s never ideal in those track conditions. We decided to sit out free practice this morning because I don’t think there was much to be gained in those really, really wet conditions and the weather forecast says it’s going to improve. In qualifying we went out straight away because I wanted some kind of feeling and we have no data from this circuit for the new electronics package,” said Rea.
“We couldn’t make a lot of gains in the session but I think tonight we can fine tune the engine-braking with the data we got. That’s the area that the bike really revolves around and we need to sort that out before we alter the chassis.
“I felt comfortable on the bike but it was quite windy out there to be honest, they weren’t the best conditions to ride in, so I guess it’s work in progress and I’m looking forward to capitalising on what we’ve learned. Tomorrow our bike should be more precise than race-ready.”
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