Gino Rea says he hasn’t been told his Moto2 future is under serious threat, despite team boss Fausto Gresini hinting he could axe the British rider ahead of the next race in Indianapolis.
The Italian boss has made it clear that he is unhappy with Rea’s performances after the former World Supersport winner scored just one point in the opening nine races.
Rea struggled for form while he was trying to develop a new Moriwaki chassis, which was a task made even more complex by Gresini’s decision to switch from Ohlins to Showa suspension.
Gresini then ditched the Moriwaki frame for the Swiss-built Suter chassis ahead of the French Grand Prix in Le Mans but the change has failed to spark a dramatic turnaround in results.
The 22-year-old’s lone top 15 finish came in the second round of the season in Jerez but his place appeared under threat during Gresini’s home round at Mugello last week.
The Italian team boss started to vent his frustration after Rea was a lowly 28th on the opening day of practice and he said: “I am not happy. To be so far back at our home Grand Prix is embarrassing for us. I am disappointed and unhappy and I we are going to have to find a solution soon because this is not a satisfactory position for us to be in.”
Gresini’s faith in Rea hadn’t improved by the end of the weekend and after he had finished 19th in the race he told MCN: “We are considering this situation now. I am not happy with the results and these results are not very good for my team. Many times in the past we have been at the front and winning but now we sometimes we are 28th or 25th and it is necessary to have some reaction. We started the season with Moriwaki and he (Rea) said that the problem was this, so we changed the bike to Suter but there has been no reaction.”
Asked whether Rea would still be partnering Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot at the Indianapolis race on August 19, Gresini said: “His bike will be in Indianapolis.”
Rea’s place at Gresini seems even more vulnerable now given the availability of Spaniard Toni Elias.
Elias split from the Aspar Moto2 squad immediately after last Sunday’s Mugello race and he is being strongly linked to a move back to Gresini.
Elias won seven races to win the inaugural Moto2 crown in 2010 on board the Gresini Moriwaki machine.
Gresini added: “Sure Toni has been good for my team in the past and it is possible. But right now we don’t speak.”
Rea says he has not been informed of any plans to replace him during the summer break and speaking to MCN earlier today he said: “I haven’t been told anything. Obviously I’ve heard the rumours but I have heard nothing at all from the team, so as far as I am concerned nothing has changed. My dad spoke to the team manager yesterday (Wednesday) and he said he had heard the rumours but he hadn’t been told anything else. Once the team manager said he hadn’t heard anything about it I haven’t been worried because I would have that they would have told me something. As soon as Elias got let go by the Aspar team the rumour started but I am not worried at the moment because they haven’t really let me know anything. If they were planning to do something I am sure they would have let me know. As far as I know I am going to be in Indianapolis.”