Jonathan Rea says Ducati Xerox team manager Davide Tardozzi thanked him for beating Ben Spies in the second race of the day at the Nurburgring, despite an earlier collision with rider Noriyuki Haga that would see the World Superbike title contender eliminated.

Arriving in Imola having penned an extension of his agreement with the Ten Kate Honda team, Rea and Haga came together whilst disputing the lead in Germany, the pair meeting on the apex of turn one when Haga ran wide and returned to the racing line to find Rea was already there.

Indeed, Rea admits he was stung by the controversy surrounding his victory, but maintains that will stand firm on the circumstances of the incident, reiterating that, while very unfortunate, he has a duty to race for himself and the team.

"I took a lot of pleasure reading through the comments, because you won't believe the amount of hate-mail I got from Italian and Ducati fans! I was on a higher pace than Haga in the early part of the race, so when I got to the front I made a move. Then Haga came back on the inside and ran wide off his apex, which created an opening for me.

"In typical Nori fashion, he closed the door quite sharply, but that's racing. He is a guy that gives as good as he gets. I was getting the Haga treatment at Misano when I was trying to hold him off.

"It is not just the duty for me to go out there and do my best, it is for my team too and I think they'd be p****d off if I didn't take my opportunities when I got them."

Rea goes on to say that he attempted to find Haga following the race to explain what had happened, but said he was instead 'thanked' by Ducati Xerox team boss Tardozzi for holding off Ben Spies.

"I rang Davide and spoke to him and things were fine. I was thanked for beating Spies! We're not ballet dancers, this is a hard game. I've been on the receiving end before and not made a big song and dance about it, but it is tough at the top."

Holding fourth in the World Superbike standings, Rea's win at the Nurburgring has also given him the impetus to launch a late challenge for third at the expense of Michel Fabrizio. Currently 44 points adrift of the Italian, Rea is also using the latter rounds of 2009 as a chance to prepare for next season.

"The package is coming on so well, so I am growing in confidence," he adds. "My understanding is good now, so that has given me a buzz. It was nice to win the race in Germany, but it's not like we can relax now because we need to attack every weekend.

"We are looking to be on the podium and get a few wins in the remaining races this season, but I don't underestimate how difficult that will be. I think the package is good enough for me to ride at that level, but now I'm closing on third position, it would nice to be there.

"We're not testing, but we're looking to 2010 because the change in suspension was quite bold. You can imagine the amount of testing we'd then have by the start of next season."


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