While watching the final race of the 2010 World Superbike Championship from the sidelines wasn't his preferred way of ending the season, Jonathan Rea couldn't be accused of not trying hard enough as he overcame pain to make at least one race outing in France.
The Northern Irishman went into the weekend still suffering with fractures to his collarbone and wrist following accidents at Imola last weekend, but he was still able to put in a heroic performance during Superpole to qualify sixth.
However, Rea conceded he would begin to feel lethargic after around four laps and the endurance of a 23 lap race saw him struggle to keep pace during the opening encounter.
His cause wasn't aided by another nasty fall during warm-up, one that required medical attention, so after completing race one in 12th, Rea took the decision to skip the second race altogether.
“It's not been a great weekend in Magny-Cours but my championship was pretty much over at Imola with the injuries I picked up there,” he said. “My surgeon back in Manchester said it would be a pretty dumb idea to ride here but that it would cause no more injuries, only pain. The plastic cast they made helped to get me out there and I had quite good pace, but not for more than three or four laps.
“Then we had a bit of a freak accident in warm-up with one of the hose clamps on the water pump coming loose and putting water all over the back tyre. It caused me to have a big high-side and I landed on my ass, which really hurt. It wasn't so bad and they patched me up pretty well but race one just drained all my energy and concentration and I was in quite a lot of pain.”
The decision to sit out race two would ultimately allow Carlos Checa to overhaul him for third position in the standings, though fourth overall – with four race wins in 2010 – signals an improvement of one position over last year.
The difference between third and fourth was not that much and I know this is a winning team and I'm a winning rider. I learned a lot last year, which I brought to this, and a lot this year which I'll take into next. I'm going under the knife on Tuesday to start the repairs, so I just want to thank all the team and my fans who have made me strong.”
Rea will continue to ride with Ten Kate Honda into 2011 after agreeing to honour his two-year contract.