Rea relishing MotoGP™ debut at Misano

Jonathan Rea pre-Misano interview
Thursday, 13 September 2012

Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Rea will be making his MotoGP™ race debut this weekend in Misano as he substitutes for the injured Casey Stoner in the Repsol Honda Team. Rea spoke exclusively with motogp.com about his thoughts and expectations.

The SBK Ten Kate Honda rider, who has been continuing his SBK duties as well as doing MotoGP™ tests, spoke about how his life has changed since receiving the call-up: "When the request came from Honda to replace Casey I was a little bit surprised, because my priority was in SBK. But the chance to jump on a MotoGP bike, the best MotoGP bike in the world, was a nice feeling. From Russia we got the request and I basically arrived in Brno I think at 2am in the morning before the test. I had a few hours sleep and then tested the bike, and after that I had one week at home, which was very nice. Then I flew to Aragón for two days of testing, then it was Nürburgring weekend, and now we’re here in Misano."

As he has commented on much throughout his brief testing spells, the demands of a MotoGP™ machine are the toughest thing to adapt to: "Changing from two completely different motorcycles and two completely different tyres is very hard mentally and it’s very hard to show my best potential. Already in Nürburgring [SBK race one] I made a mistake with the front – maybe I was thinking too much about the MotoGP lean angle. And then I come here – you have to trust so much the bike....Using a lot more lean angle, using more braking force riding to the apex of the corner and carrying more momentum. Things you can’t do on a Superbike. I know exactly what to do, but to have the confidence to do that when everything is so new, is difficult."

Yet in the face of all the challenges that await Rea, he is relishing the chance lining up on the grid of motorcycling’s premier-class: "First, I’m sorry that Casey can’t be here. I don’t know Casey very well, but I’m a big fan of his talent, his riding style. But for me, just to arrive in this paddock and to race against some of the best riders in world on the best machinery in the world it’s like a dream come true."

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