Belfast Telegraph

World Superbikes: Defiant Rea aiming to be on Aussie grid

By Paul Lindsay

Following his 130mph crash during testing on Tuesday, Castrol Honda World Superbike star Jonathan Rea was given the all-clear to return to the Phillip Island track yesterday, despite looking like he’d just completed a few rounds with Amir Khan — as he put it in his own words.

Rea’s major worry is that he may have aggravated the scaphoid ligament repair that effectively ended his 2010 season prematurely. But while his left hand is currently badly swollen, the 24-year-old Ballyclare man remains upbeat about his chances of making the opening two races of the 2010 season this coming Sunday in Australia.

He added: “The most worrying thing is that the crash may have aggravated my old scaphoid injury in my left hand. All the X-rays and CT scans have so far shown there are no fractures.

“There is a little fracture to the edge of my collarbone, which we hope is an old injury. I’m really optimistic and hope to be on the grid for practice on Friday — to at least give it a go.”

Rea also has a swollen left eye as a result of the high-speed crash and should he be fit enough to race, it will very much be damage limitation Down Under, before the World Superbike Championship moves to the all-new Donington Park venue at the end of March.

“I have a good range of movement in both hands, which really took the brunt of the crash, so if we can get the swelling down to a minimum and get the gloves on, my aim is to be racing on Sunday and trying as hard as ever,” he said.

Castrol Honda team manager, Ronald ten Kate took all blame away from his young rider, stating: “Jonathan was not to blame at all for the crash, which came at high speed when the machine started to leak oil on his rear tyre and caught fire. Jonathan was forced to jump off at one of the fastest corners of the track. We hope he’ll be back on the bike as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, the Honda trio of Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso set the pace on day two of MotoGP testing in Sepang.

Stoner and Pedrosa clocked times quicker than Valentino Rossi's 2009 circuit record, while Rossi, now with Ducati, was unable to ride due to illness.

Pedrosa had beaten Rossi's time by going round in two minutes 00.229 seconds, with Stoner then bettering that with a time of 2mins 00.171secs.

Belfast Telegraph


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