Podium Potential Loading for Pata Prometeon Yamaha in Barcelona

March 22 2024

Podium Potential Loading for Pata Prometeon Yamaha in Barcelona

Podium Potential Loading for Pata Prometeon Yamaha in Barcelona

Jonathan Rea and Andrea Locatelli were back on track for Friday Free Practice at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, for the opening day of the second round the 2024 FIM Superbike World Championship today.

Clear Spanish sunshine welcomed the WorldSBK field, with the perfect opportunity presented to reset and restart as the season gets underway in earnest in Europe.

After FP1, the team’s Northern Irishman Rea was third fastest and with Italian teammate Locatelli in fifth, both without completing a “time-attack” practice lap. Their work continued in the afternoon with a focus on race simulation runs to assess the grip levels and tyre wear over the course of 20 laps, in preparation for the main points-paying race on Saturday and Sunday.

The drop in grip in the closing stages of the Catalunya race can be costly – with 1.5 to 2 seconds per lap separating riders who manage their tyres in the best way, to those who don’t. With this clear in the minds of the Pata Prometeon Yamaha crew, naturally the focus in the afternoon was to understand and mitigate any potential problems in similar warm Race 1 conditions.

Without a time attack completed in the afternoon, Rea and Locatelli finished fifth and sixth respectively on the combined timesheet with a positive mindset for the weekend ahead. Tomorrow starts with one final Free Practice session at 9:00 CET (UCT+1) followed by Superpole qualifying at 11:00 and lights out for Race 1 after lunch at 14:00.

Jonathan Rea: P5 – 1'41.400

“It’s been nice, a breath of fresh air competing for the positions we should be battling for. I was fast in the morning and then in the afternoon, we focused on doing a race simulation. It was really important to do the full 20 laps because we’re understanding the exact bike behaviour in the last few laps where the drop in grip is quite critical – so coupled with the input that we have from the test where I did another simulation on two different tyre choices, we have good info to put together to understand the way forward tomorrow. You can never be prepared enough at Barcelona: the target is to not get too excited and look after the tyres as much as possible. The lap time here can be incredible and I’m sure if I put soft tyres in, we can make a fast lap time, but the drop of grip can cost so much time at the end of the race – so we need to focus on that. I’m not completely satisfied, there is always potential to improve but we’re working in a really good way. We’ll put our heads together tonight and hopefully tomorrow we can have a package to fight for the top positions.”

Andrea Locatelli: P6 – 1'41.473

“Strong day, difficult day and we worked a lot but, in the end, we are happy! In the long run we were fighting a lot with the bike but we have a lot of data to compare and to work tonight. We need to try to improve a little bit, it is important for tomorrow to increase the rhythm because we want to fight for the podium. But for Day 1, no mistakes, a good lap time this morning and the feeling with the bike is good, we need to be happy about the first day here. We tried to do the long run both this morning and this afternoon, to make 20 laps as a race distance. At this track it’s important to find the grip in the rear and to understand how the wear is at the end of this race to not be in trouble – so we need to “play” with the bike a lot to find the best setup for this. In the end I think we did a good job, we have a good base setup and good electronics, so we will try to improve a little bit more for tomorrow and then I think we can fight in the race.”

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