Jonathan Rea was left frustrated with his somewhat erratic run to sixth and seventh position during the two World Superbike races at Imola, the Northern Irishman experiencing a number of off-track excursions throughout the day.
Rea was confident of another race-winning turn on the Ten Kate Honda having qualified in third position, but a less than perfect start in race one dropped him down to fifth position.
Passing Ben Spies early on, Rea was following Michel Fabrizio on the downhill stretch towards Rivazza when the Italian sat up slightly, forcing the Northern Irishman to take a wider than desired line in avoidance.
Putting him on the inside for the upcoming tight left-hander, Rea had no opportunity to tip the bike in, sending him across the bows of Noriyuki Haga and into the gravel trap. Dropping to last position, Rea was nonetheless able to save face with a charging ride back through the order to finish in seventh.
“It's been a disappointing day, as I felt we were in good shape for a win here. At the start of race one, the pace seemed quite slow and as I drew alongside Fabrizio to line him up for a pass he must have hit a curb or something. He sat up suddenly and pushed me wide, and I had to run straight into the gravel.”
Rea fared little better in race two as he battled with brake problems on the CBR1000RR. Running fifth early on, Rea endured a dramatic excursion across Tamburello hairpin on lap three, before doing something similar at Variante Bassa on lap five.
Slipping outside the top ten, although Rea collected himself enough to battle back to sixth position, he was disappointed with his results given his early promise.
“Race two was not so good. I got a bad start and it turned into a bit of a dog fight, with people chopping me off and letting the brakes go again when I'd passed them. I made a few mistakes after that, but something also happened with the brakes, which had a bad vibration and the power was inconsistent.
“I had my heart set on a win but the results aren't the end of the world – I've been fast here and the package was good.”
Rea is now just six points ahead of Max Biaggi in the battle for fourth in the overall standings.