THIRD ROW FOR REA AT SILVERSTONE

Rea Silverstone

Rea Silverstone

Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s two tenth round World Superbike races from the third row of the grid after setting the tenth fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole qualifying session at Silverstone in the UK.

Pole position was taken by Czech rider Jakub Smrz as frequent showers at the 5.9km Silverstone circuit affected all riders.

Rea qualified for Superpole after this morning’s second regulation qualifying session began in dry conditions. However, as his Honda World Superbike team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama put in a new tyre with fewer than 10 minutes of the session remaining, the rain returned and the Japanese rider could not improve his time.

With Superpole itself declared wet, Rea was eliminated after the first of the two 20-minute sessions before further rain fell. The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland will consequently line up on the third row of the grid ahead of championship leader Max Biaggi.

Jonathan Rea – P10

I’m still frustrated today because, although we improved the bike from yesterday with a dramatic step, it’s still not in the direction I need. What’s more frustrating is that we’re making changes to the bike but it’s not affecting the area that I’m having problems with. I need to build confidence again after being off the bike and having to re-learn it, but until we can get the bike to inspire a bit of that confidence it feels like I’m riding around and banging my head against the wall. One thing for sure is that the guys around me are smart people, and the bike’s been amazing before, like two or three races ago. It seems like the settings are pretty similar but there’s something wrong. If we can get something like we had back then, there’s no reason why we can’t ride at the front again. It’ll be another late night thinking about a change we can make for warm-up but the good thing about Silverstone is that we only need to find a little change because it’s such a long lap around here. The guys are doing their best, I’m doing my best, but this position is not a reflection of where we should be.

Hiroshi Aoyama – P20

This morning we missed the last ten minutes of qualifying because the rain came back. We had just put in a new tyre to make a good lap time but we couldn’t do it. In the afternoon free practice in the dry, I was faster so we could see that I could make the lap time, so it’s a pity. At least in the dry the feeling from the bike is better, certainly better than yesterday. We can see the improvement in the bike with the improved lap time and for tomorrow, if it’s dry, I think we can make two good races. If it rains, I’m not so sure – we’ll see how the weather is tomorrow.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

It was a real shame that in second qualifying, with 12 minutes to go, it was looking like Hiroshi would make it to Superpole. But it started to rain, so it was a pity that he couldn’t get that chance. In the second free practice he showed that he has a reasonable pace and he was constantly improving. It’s looking quite positive for him here, so I hope we can do two good races tomorrow. Of course, it’s weather-dependent but in the dry he’s looking quite strong. With Jonathan we’re still struggling to find a good set-up and with the mixed weather he could do no better than tenth in Superpole. Maybe it’s better for us if it’s wet tomorrow, but we still have some ideas to improve the dry setting, too.

2012 World Superbike championship, round ten – Silverstone, UK
Final qualifying results:
1 Jakub Smrz (CZE) Ducati
2 Leon Camier (GBR) Suzuki
3 Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Ducati
4 Leon Haslam (GBR) BMW
5 Davide Guigliano (ITA) Ducati
6 Marco Melandri (ITA) BMW
7 Carlos Checa (ESP) Ducati
8 Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki
10 Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda World Superbike Team
20 Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Honda World Superbike Team

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