By Giles Spencer
Mechanical gremlins and tyre choices robbed Gino Rea of any points at Thruxton in the British Superbike Championship.
Persistent bike problems for the Tooting-born racer in round seven meant he missed out on the second qualifying session and started 20th on the grid.
The morning warm-up saw him storm to 13th quickest, 0.727s off the fastest man, Luke Mossey on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki.
A bad start in race one saw him drop four places to 24th in the first lap and despite quickly moving up to 19th he lacked the pace he’d had in practice and qualifying.
He was forced to retire on lap 13 of 20 for only his second non-finish of the season.
A better start for the second race saw the OMG Racing UK Suzuki rider gaining places to 16th with noticably better pace.
Rea dropped to 18th but retook a spot for a safe 17th until the chequered flag, 33 seconds behind the McAMS Yamaha of Josh Brookes in first. It knocked 1.4 seconds off his best lap.
Rea said, “My pace was a lot better (in race 2) but I’m not sure we chose the correct tyre. The top finishing Suzuki opted for the soft tyre and managed to make it last, where as we chose the harder option and didn’t have as much grip.
“It was also tough starting from 25th, but my pace in the first part of the race put me right behind the group of 10th to 15th position riders.
“Considering it was my first time on the new track I think that’s a very positive point to take away, but it would have been nice to see that progression show in the race.”
Rea will have to learn another new track with highly technical Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire this weekend (17-19 August).
“The first objective is to learn the circuit and then aim for the top 12 in the races.
I’ve been out motocross training, preparing for the famous ‘Mountain’ section of the circuit, where we actually take off on our 220bhp machines!”
Top pics by Ian Hopgood, bottom pic by PictureBike MX Photography