Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea had a mixed weekend at the Italian track of Imola today, scoring one DNF and one podium from the front row.
|Rea left Imola with his head held high
Photo: Pata Honda
After getting off to a storming start in race one, Rea was leading into the first corner but ran off track at the second corner, returning to the race in 13th position. The Irishman then fought valiantly through the field to get into a position to fight for the final position on the podium before crashing out at Rivazza two, ending his race. Race two was more successful for the 26 year old but was also less eventful, following a crashes from Davide Guigliano and Eugene Laverty in the opening six laps, Rea was left with big gaps to both Tom Sykes in front and Sylvain Guintoli behind, he crossed the line a lonely 5 seconds behind Sykes.
Rea has had a strong pace all weekend and was happy to convert this into a podium“Really mixed emotions today. We had really good pace all weekend, but not enough for Tom [Sykes] today, who seemed like he had something in reserve, especially when it got hot this afternoon. I pulled a big ‘holey’ in race one and thought “I’m gone here”, but I had a big vibration the whole race on the brake disc, so I couldn’t push the front like I wanted. I made a mistake on the first lap, but made a lot of ground up and then unfortunately crashed when I was pushing for the podium with a couple of laps to go. In race two I just rode my ass off and made zero mistakes. In the first five laps I couldn’t go with the two guys ahead, so they gapped me and by half distance, Tom had eked out a lead tenth by tenth. I need to work with my crew to make the bike better with a full fuel load and fresh tyres. But it’s clear that we’ve addressed some of the problems we’ve had when the tyres drop. We can leave Imola with our heads held high because we’ve addressed some of the issues we had earlier in the season and we look forward now to Moscow.”
Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam secured two top ten finishes whilst continuing to suffer with his leg injury he sustained at Assen over a month ago.
The two races at in North East Italy were the first two races the Brit has completed since breaking his leg, and despite feeling exhausted towards the end of race two Haslam finished the day happy with the progress made. Battling it out with Loris Baz in race one for ninth position, the Derbyshire rider lost out to the Frenchman in the closing laps, resulting in a tenth position finish. In the searing heat of race two, Haslam managed to hold off Ayrton Badovini at his home race, however he was beaten by another Italian Michele Fabrizio for eight position. Haslam crossed the line in ninth, 40 seconds back of Tom Sykes.
The Pata Honda rider now lies in 15th position in the championship standings and is happy with his result from today“You know, if I’d sat it out since my injury and got two top ten results like that on my first race back, I’d be pretty happy, so I’m feeling OK. I know where I’m struggling – I still can’t weight the pegs like I want, but I managed to pass a few people in the second race like Badovini and Cluzel and Checa. So I’ll take that as my start point. I’ve got some testing to do for the 8-hour, a few more weeks of training, then Moscow and we’re still really only halfway through the season. Step by step we’re getting back to where we should be, so I’ll take those two top tens as a big positive for the weeks ahead.”