Jonathan Rea gave himself and Kawasaki a huge boost when he outpaced half the MotoGP grid at Jerez last week, but how was it possible?
Racers love to prove a point. It goes back to the all-important F**K YOU! department in their brains I mentioned a couple of weeks back.
Which is why November’s combined MotoGP/World Superbike tests at Jerez have become a big deal for top WSB riders.
Many World Superbike riders believe their talents are overlooked and underestimated because they race far away from MotoGP’s all-consuming limelight. And they’re not wrong. WSB’s TV audience is roughly 10 per cent of MotoGP’s. This explains why WSB’s top men spent some of their time at Jerez riding the outer limits to make the 14 MotoGP riders present look a bit silly.
Twice World Superbike champ Jonathan Rea was the star of the show and flew home with a big grin on his face after outpacing half the MotoGP grid (albeit mostly the back half).
His astonishing 1m 38.721sec lap on his factory ZX-10R would’ve put him on pole at last May’s Spanish Grand Prix, 0.015 seconds ahead of Valentino Rossi, 0.137 seconds in front of Jorge Lorenzo and 0.170 seconds ahead of Marc Marquez.
Alvaro Bautista was second fastest at the tests on a Ducati Desmosedici GP16, just edging out former 250 GP rival Chaz Davies on a factory Ducati 1198 Panigale. Third was another Desmosedici, Loris Baz bettering former WSB team-mate Tom Sykes by a fraction.