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Rea on a mission after Le Mans

Rea on a mission after Le Mans

A DNF may not have been the result Gino Rea and his Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 team would have hoped for at the French Grand Prix, but the young Brit’s performance before being taken out will no doubt have given them something to smile about.

Arriving at Le Mans was like the first race of the season for Rea and his team, as they had just switched chassis manufacturers from Moriwaki to Suter and had no track time what so-ever to get their bike set up. After two days in the dry Rea qualified in 24th, dashing any hopes of a miracle jump up the rankings, however a turn in the weather was to be an unexpected boost for the Moto2 rookie.

Within just a few laps, Rea had fought his way up into seventh place and looked to be firmly on the pace. His first Moto2 stint at the front was to be short lived however, as JiR Moto2’s Johann Zarco took out Rea’s front wheel whilst overtaking, sending the Gresini rider into the gravel. After a slight cool-off period and time to gather his thoughts, caught up with Rea to get his thoughts on the weekend.

Starting on a positive, how was your weekend up until the crash?

"It was difficult from the off as we had changed chassis for the weekend and I had never raced at Le Mans before. We were essentially starting from scratch. I believe we had a bit more pace than we showed on qualifying, but we struggled a bit with our tyre choice. On race day the bike worked very well in the rain and I was very aggressive in the first few laps.

"Once I moved up to seventh I was feeling quite comfortable behind the guys, and even felt that at some points they were holding me up. Then I had a bit of a moment where the bike tried to throw me off, but managed to hold on. After that I was taken out by Zarco."

What was your view of the incident and do you feel Zarco should have been punished?

"On camera it looks like a racing incident and like I had seen him coming, but I hadn’t. I had already dipped into the corner when he pushed past and lifted my front wheel off the ground. There was nothing I could do. Naturally I was very frustrated. Maybe if Zarco had finished the race there may have been repercussion, but as he didn’t there probably wasn’t much point."

Do you have any ill effects from the crash?

"I’m still a bit sore, but fortunately I didn’t injure myself seriously."

Considering the position you were in when you crashed, are you taking many positives to the next round in Catalunya?

"The best thing about Le Mans was that I showed that I can run at the front. But that doesn’t mean our fortunes are going to change overnight. We are the only team running Showa suspension with a Suter chassis, so our biggest challenge right now is getting the two to work in harmony. We have no data to call upon from others. Once we have got that dialled in, then we can fine tune the rest of the chassis."

After your pace in the wet at Le Mans, are you hoping for rain again at Montmeló?

"I’d rather have it dry, just for the sake bike development. But if it rains, I now know I can be up a the front."

Moto2, 2012, Gino Rea, Federal Oil Gresini Moto2

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