Jonathan Rea gave no inkling that he is carrying a wrist injury into this weekend's World Superbike opener at Phillip Island as he lapped comeptitively from the off in opening practice.
Three days on from his nasty 130mph accident during testing – one that landed him in hospital with the injury and raised concerns that he would not be able to compete this weekend – a heavily bandaged Rea did make it out onto track for FP1.
Going on to take an unexpected second fastest time in that session, though he would opt to complete fewer laps during Q1 in an effort to rest his wrist, he still ended the day inside the top ten.
Praising the efforts of Clinica Mobile and also the hospital staff for getting him onto track, though Rea admits he is sore, he says he is not suffering from any confidence issues now he is back on the Castrol Honda.
“I think the most important thing is that the Clinica Mobile guys have patched me up really well,” he said. “My back and neck are really sore today, but the heavy strapping on my left wrist seems to be fine on the bike.
“This morning we worked through race distance on a potential race tyre and we continued that this afternoon. But when we threw in the new bigger shape tyre, which was working really well on Tuesday, the track temperatures were too hot so it wasn't any better. So, rather than burn another tyre from our allocation and burn valuable energy at this point of the weekend, we sat out the session.
“To be top ten after the first day and to have another 36 hrs to get stronger for Sunday makes me really optimistic. The bike's working great and is really fun to ride and I have no confidence issues after the crash on Tuesday.
“When I was lying in hospital on Wednesday and the doctors were talking about keeping me in another night, I never even thought I'd be on a bike this weekend. I'd like to say a really big thanks to everyone who's got me to this position, and for me to be putting in good lap times on old tyres is really down to them.”