WSB: Jonathan Rea's Thailand column
When things go right, they go right, and I just felt good on the bike last weekend! I did a race run in practice and thought that it was solid enough to race for the win, and then when I got going in race one I blew it out of the water! I really didn’t expect to go that fast – and then race two went pretty much the same way!
Both races were smooth and I was able to work my way to the front on both races and set my rhythm. I even started well in Race 2 from 9th and found myself in the front group after a few corners. Unfortunately for me, the red flags came out after only 4 laps.
I was quite surprised to come back to the garage after the and see that Chaz went down. It happened just out of the corner of my eye. He was in such a hurry to get to the front, ran deep into 3 and lost the rear on the dirty stuff. It’s times like that when there’s a bit of pressure and stress on, that you have to be pretty composed and clean, and he got caught out a bit – then handed a lifeline!
It’s not really too hard to motivate yourself on weekends like that though, because it almost feels effortless when things go right. We didn’t mess around much with set-up, just changed a few things in morning warm-up before race two, but it honestly all stems from a really good winter testing.
There’s no one thing that’s arrived to give us this early form, it’s just little improvements everywhere. Pere’s winter plan was really good too, and he was very methodical about what we tested and didn’t test. When to test things, when to do race runs, and when to put them aside and try to do fast laps.
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I’ve been practicing when to do some sprint runs, which has really paid off for me, because not only have I had four from four wins, I’ve had two from two in Superpole too. The package is coming together.
We knew these tracks would be good for us, and it’s nice to be able to carry on the trend with the best start to the season I’ve ever had. It looks like even after four races that Tom and Chaz will be the strongest competitors, so normal service has been resumed. Of course we will go to some circuits that are more challenging for me and the bike and where others will be strong but it's important for me to focus on myself and ry to do our maximum every weekend.
We stayed in a new hotel this year, and it seems like Buriram is starting to get a little more westernised! It’s pretty famous for it’s football team, because they kind of did what Chelsea did and bought a load of the best players around. That seems to be propelling the town into something a little more than it was.
I spent a few days in Phuket after the race in Phillip Island with one of my mechanics, the team media relations officer and my family, and Tarsh and the kids stayed there, so I’m just picking them up and heading straight back to the Isle of Man!
I’ve also been helping out Kyle Ryde these past few years – not as a manager, because that implies I’m Mr 10%, but in a similar role – and we’re having a fundraiser in the UK for him on Sunday night. Me, Jamie Whitham and Kyle are going to do a chat show and try and raise some money to help him finish off the season after a great start to it for him in Supersport. I enjoy putting a little back into younger riders and seeing him make a huge step this season has been great!
Aragon will be another challenge in a couple of weeks though, because Chaz has been so strong there in the past. It seems to be one of his stand out circuits, but we had a good test there in November and got the bike into a good window there.
The plan is to carry on winning!