Six-time FIM Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea made his debut for Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK this week with a two-day test and a new chapter for both team and rider at Jerez.
While inclement weather on Tuesday meant just seven full timed laps were completed (12 in total), Wednesday was a chance for the Northern Irishman to really engage with his new R1 and the team as early winter Spanish sunshine allowed more track time.
Completing 68 laps after an early lunch, Rea took the third-fastest spot on his final lap just before the end of the test – with fellow Yamaha rider Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha) making the fastest lap with a 1:38.448, which would have seen him take pole position last weekend.
The next chance for Rea to get further acquainted with his new Pata Yamaha YZF-R1M World Superbike will be on 20-21 November back at Jerez, alongside team-mate Andrea Locatelli – with a key focus on 2024 development with Yamaha’s engineers.
Jonathan Rea – 1:39.179
“My first feelings with this team have been fantastic, ever since I agreed to make the move. Both the team and Yamaha have been really welcoming and making everything easy.
“The first test was just about getting familiar with the bike – it was a bit of a shock, I had a lot of different sensations than I am used to – but in a positive way!
“The R1 is very user-friendly – not necessarily easy to go to the absolute limit just yet, but easy to ride. It generates a lot of traction which encourages you to go fast and inspires confidence.
“You can get into the throttle and use the power of the machine – it feels good and now I can see how Toprak was riding the way he was, also Loka being so competitive this year. It’s all good! Just a nice first contact with the set-up and the team, so I expect next time we can get more deeply into it.
“Step-by-step today we have tried some different things, fork spec, different tyre combinations so that I can understand how the Yamaha uses different compounds – I could see from the past that Yamaha have been able to maximise the SCX tyre.
“I requested some different electronics set-up – but not really too much. I have been using the current “base setting” let’s say of the R1 and in the next test we will start to work on development parts.
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