The Ulster teenager’s performance – his first competitive visit to the Leicestershire circuit – elevated the 18-year-old to 16th position overall in the championship standings. He is now just seven points behind tenth place.
Rea is now concentrating on securing a strong qualifying position aboard the Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade at the 2.692-mile Cheshire circuit. If he can start the two 18-lap races from higher up the grid, the Ballyclare rider can aim for a top ten finish.
Jonathan Rea: “I’m really happy with the set-up of the Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade. We’ve made huge steps forward in terms of development since the start of the season and I feel more comfortable on the bike. It’s important now for me to improve my qualifying times so that I don’t have to fight my through from the back of the field in every race for a good finish.”
Laverty’s show of strength
At Mallory Park last weekend, Red Bull Honda’s Eugene Laverty proved himself worthy of taking on the task of being Honda Racing’s main representative in the British Supersport Championship. The 18-year-old showed a gritty determination similar to that of his predecessor, back-to-back champion Karl Harris, following a first lap crash at the 1.39-mile Leicestershire circuit.
The incident caused the third race of the season to be red flagged. Despite injury, Laverty rushed back to the pits to make the restart in time on his spare Red Bull Honda CBR600RR. The Toomebridge teenager rode through the pain barrier to claim a respectable tenth position at the chequered flag.
Laverty is now focussing on putting in a strong performance at Oulton Park. His aim is to re-enter the top ten of the overall championship standings in the ultra-competitive mid-range class.
Eugene Laverty: “Mallory Park was a difficult race for me, but I think I did well, all things considered. I’m looking forward to gathering more valuable experience and points this weekend. I had mixed fortunes at Oulton Park last year with a DNF and a second place, so I’m hoping to master the track on the Red Bull Honda CBR600RR.”
Determined and defiant
Determined Chris Jones heads to Oulton Park in a defiant mood for round four of the British 125GP Championship. His debut season in the series with Red Bull Honda has so far brought three DNFs, not a true reflection of the true skill that the talented teenager has displayed in pre-season testing and qualifying.
In each of the three races so far, 14-year-old Jones has diced for a podium position before crashing out of contention. This weekend he is keen to convert his potential into points, while gathering further invaluable experience at the 2.692-mile track.
The Droitwich teenager is hoping to familiarise himself with the circuit during the free practice sessions to secure a strong grid position in qualifying. During the race Jones’ main aim will be to reach the chequered flag.
Chris Jones: “I’m frustrated not to have finished one race so far because the Red Bull Honda team and RS125 are fantastic. I think maybe I’ve been trying too hard. So I’m looking to Oulton Park to finish my first race and enjoy my time on the track.”