Jonathan Rea claimed that his fourth place finish in Aragon was “like a podium” but was still disappointed with the overall weekend as his Honda struggled for pace.
Rea’s fourth place finished was the only bright spot on what was another difficult weekend for the PATA Honda team, although the 26-year-old admitted that the result was a case of capitalising on the misfortune of his rivals rather than his own performance.
After testing in both Aragon and Alcarras, Rea was hopeful of being competitive with the frontrunners at the Motorland circuit but found that electrical problems prevented him from keeping up with the pacesetters on the straights.
Rea’s frustrations were compounded in race two when a broken brake adjuster forced him to pit, leaving him to finish in a lowly 15th position.
Speaking after the event, the Honda rider was brutal in his assessment of the bikes performance and admitted that he was looking forward to the weekend off next week ahead of Assen.
“It’s hard to know what to say, really, because it was clear that we were on a bit of a high coming to the races here after the test two weeks ago,” claimed the Ulsterman. “Immediately on Friday morning the bike felt a lot better and we worked really hard with the guys all weekend and put in a long run to understand the electronics setting. I feel that we got it in a satisfactory area where I was happy to push, but I’m disappointed with the overall performance.
“In the races I was unable to compete with the guys around me on the straight, which made riding the rest of the circuit very intense. In race one, we had a game plan that worked out better than we expected because a few riders had some misfortune. We plugged away and were there to pick up the pieces and finished fourth. For me it felt like a podium because we’ve come from a long way back and we kind of had the feeling that we were climbing a ladder.
“Then in race two it was like someone kicked me back off it because I had a problem with the brake adjuster. The brake kept winding itself in and for one lap I tried to ride with it but the lever was coming back to the bar. I was going to be a risk to other riders so I came in to fix that. Again, my pace was strong when I re-joined which is a real shame because I felt like we deserved some more points in race two.
“We go to Assen with no more testing which gives the guys some downtime. I think we all need it because we’ve had a lot of testing recently, but we’ll hopefully learn from these issues and start again in Assen.”