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Gino Rea back in action at Le Mans

Gino Rea will make his first appearance of the season as Moto2™ resumes at Le Mans next weekend. The Englishman, raising his own funds after being left without a team for 2013, tells motogp.com he is ‘itching’ to get back on-track.

Rea was set to contest the current campaign with ESGP, although the team pulled out before pre-season testing due to the loss of a sponsor.

As confirmed on Wednesday when the official entry list was published for the French round of the championship, Rea will compete under the banner of Gino Rea Race Team.

On Monday, the Londoner carried out a shakedown test of his FTR bike at Le Mans.

"Basically FTR has built the 2013 version, which is modified from the 2012 version according to what we tested in Almeria back in November," Rea explains. "They have basically given us all of the changes we have been looking for."

In desperate need of funds in order to compete, Rea is returning thanks to the support of the public, as fans have been able to make contributions through GinoReaClub.com.

“The support has been great on the donations page,” adds the 23-year-old Londoner. “I didn’t think there would be that amount of people wanting me to get back out on-track! I would like to send a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone. There are a few races we are planning, such as Le Mans and my home event at Silverstone, that we definitely wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. I also need to thank my dad David, Dave Crawford and FTR for all of their hard work and support so far. It’s all been great motivation and now I’m itching to get back out there.

"It’s certainly something different, to have own name behind the team, but I kind of like it. It gives me the freedom to do what I want and call the shots, budget permitting. It’s nice to do things your own way and gives you that bit of freedom."

Despite testing in Le Mans on Monday with older Dunlop tyres to the new front specification that was introduced to Moto2 in Jerez last weekend, Rea is pleased to report that he was feeling instantly at ease with the FTR machine.

"I did feel comfortable, surprisingly," he continues. "I wasn’t expecting any good lap times; in fact I was expecting to be a long way off because I hadn’t ridden on a circuit like that since November. I was expecting to be quite rusty but I felt at home straight away on an FTR bike, seeing what does and doesn’t work. Obviously, we still need a lot more time to get it exactly where I want it, so I can’t have any real expectations right now. Plus everybody else has been testing and racing all year, but my goal would be a points-scoring finish.

"Since November I have just been doing motocross and I’m the fittest I’ve ever been because of all the gym work I have been able to do. My target now is to get back in full-time for 2014, if I can. At the moment it’s too early to say, but I want to keep showing my face in the paddock. Moto2 is definitely where I want to stay."

Rea will rejoin the action on bike number 8 as one of two wildcard riders along with Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin, who will race a Kalex for Petronas Raceline Malaysia.

Tags:
Moto2, 2013

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