Q&A with Jonathan Rea
We caught up with Jonathan Rea about his aims for 2011 and thoughts on new team mate, Ruben Xaus.
Q: What are your aims for 2011, after some great rides and finishing inside the overall top four with Ten Kate Honda in 2010?
A: We put a strong championship together in 2010. I think I will keep my targets to myself this year, but I have very strong aims for 2011 with Castrol Honda and Ten Kate. I have a really strong bond with Ronald Ten Kate and I see him almost like a second father. This small Ten Kate family has embraced me and other riders and this is something they should be very proud of.
Q: What does having Castrol as a main sponsor mean for all involved?
A: The team is so pumped about having Castrol as a main sponsor because when they were breaking into the paddock Castrol Honda was the big iconic team. After two years now working with each other we understand each other and, with my relative lack of experience, they have taught me a lot. We have transferred that into speed, and now I need to transfer that speed into consistency. If we can do that we will be on the front foot. My team is almost like family now, and I always look forward to seeing all the boys and I look forward to getting down to business in another season.
Q: You have Ruben as a team-mate in 2011, so how do you think you will work together?
A: He seems like a very nice guy and he gives 110%. Certain things have not been right for him recently, which means he has not been able to get his full confidence back. Hopefully our team can help him regain that. I need a really fast team-mate to bounce ideas off and push me on as well. Ruben has lots of experience on lots of good bikes, so hopefully he can bring many positive aspects to the team.
Q: Having two rounds of WSBK in the UK again this year must be a good thing for you personally?
A: We have had more than one round in the UK in the past, but it is always good to have two rounds in your home country. We actually had three UK rounds in one season in the past so we were getting a bit selfish there! Alongside Silverstone, it is good to see Donington back on board, as it is a big part of WSBK history. It will feel good to roll out of garage and feel the atmosphere created by thousands of British fans. Hopefully the weather will be kind as well.
Q: You have been a Honda rider for many years. How would you describe your relationship with Honda?
A: Real good, because we have shown each other a lot of loyalty, even when there have been distractions. I still believe that as the biggest manufacturer Honda is also the most successful one. When they get behind something they make it right. Look at MotoGP this year, for example. I have always been told that I am part of the big plan, and having been to Japan and spending a lot of time with HRC and Honda Motor, they seem to think highly of me. All the things they have said to me have turned out the way they were supposed to. They are a great brand to be with.