Posted 21st February, 2017

An Interview With Gino Rea - World Supersport Rider

This weekend sees the World Superbike and World Supersport teams and riders set off to start their latest campaigns on track at Phillip Island in Australia. The Superbike and Supersport paddocks have always been a happy hunting ground for British riders so we asked one of this season’s World Supersport title favourites, Gino Rea, if he would be adding any silverware to his trophy cabinet on his new Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki in 2017.

Hi Gino, how is your preparation shaping up for the 2017 racing season?
It’s been really good actually. The first race feels like it’s come around quickly after such a busy off-season. I broke my hand badly at the end of last season so I actually started working in a CrossFit gym and took part in a coaching development programme. The knowledge I’ve gained has really helped and I’m back to 100% fitness so I’m feeling more ready than ever.

You have been riding on the World stage for a good number of years now, how does your approach to a season vary from your Rookie years?
It varies with the knowledge I gain but the work ethic has always been there from the start. I've always given everything I could so that nothing is left on the table. Now with experience I'm just smarter in my preparation, more organised and structured. I know what works and what doesn't so every year my fitness keeps improving.

Gino performing a standing wheelieWhat does a race week consist of for you?
The Monday and Tuesday before consists of training and making sure I have everything prepared for travelling and race weekend. I usually travel (to European races) on the Wednesday and Thursday is used to make sure all my riding gear is prepped for Friday, along with any media events.

How does riding your new Kawasaki differ from you previous bikes?
I’m really looking forward to getting started with Team GOELEVEN and the Kawasaki. We were able to test at Jerez and although it was only a track day we were able to learn a lot about the bike. I felt right at home with it from the start and we continued to improve the bike throughout the few days on track. I ended up going faster than I did on race weekend last year on the MV. It was also my first time back on a bike since my crash and injury last year which incidentally was also at Jerez.

Does 2017 offer you the best chance to win a title in recent years?
I believe so yes. I think the bike will be more consistent than I've had in the past and the team have more experience than my previous teams. I want to win the title and I feel I’m ready for it. I’ve got the experience now and I feel that if the full package is there I’m able to challenge at the front consistently. The goal is to win races and gain consistent podium finishes. I need to be top 3 in the Championship.

Gino Rea Moto2 podiumWho are your fiercest rivals going to be?
World Supersport is a very competitive field this year, the most competitive it's been in years, especially now with the Factory Yamaha team back. We can't underestimate anyone but I treat them all the same, they are all there to be beaten.

Where do you feel WSBK and WSS is currently headed as a brand?
Last year was a better year for World Superbike and it's great that aspects such as the Paddock Show are expanding. World Superbikes’ strength is the interaction between riders/teams and the fans and I believe that Dorna are pushing that which is great. Dorna are also improving the visual aspect of the brand which I believe will help too. Unfortunately it will never let World SBK get as big as MotoGP but hopefully they will continue to push it in the right direction in order for it to grow.

How can the British Motorcycle racing organisations better assist British riders to reach World Championship levels?
That's a difficult question. The BSB Championship is, as we all know, the best domestic Championship in the World and produces great talent. An issue I have seen and experienced in the past is companies and sponsors only wanting or needing UK exposure. The BSB series offers this exposure in a great way, so the companies and sponsors who are only in the UK get the coverage they require from BSB. To get a UK company to sponsor a rider racing around the globe is quite tough. What we are missing though is something like what the Italians now have, a federation that supports their riders. The Italian Motorcycle Federation supports and assists riders in getting World Championship rides which is great.

Gino Rea riding one handedI understand you used to race motocross to a good level, what made you switch to circuit racing?
My dad is a friend of Terry Rymer and it was him who always said I should try tarmac stuff when I got to the age of 15 or 16. I tried it and did well but also continued Motocross and started racing Supermoto. A few people (who still support me to this day- Iain Hutton of and Lloyd Peacock) helped me race Supermoto and it was actually whilst at a Supermoto race that I was spotted by Mick Corrigan (who also spotted Toseland). Mick got me onto a Superstock 600 and helped me get into Beowulf Racing team, where I went straight into the European Superstock Championship. It went on from there…

If you were given a day on any bike at any track with any one person to ride with, what would your day consist of?
I cant get Motocross out of my system, I'd ride Supercross with Jeremy McGrath, on his Factory CR250. Back in the day...

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