Jonathan Rea has reflected on his huge acccident at Imola and admits he was fortunate to escape relatively unharmed.
Rea suffered a massive high-side on his Honda Fireblade during Superpole qualifying and was pitched high into the air before landing heavily.
Television footage of the accident made for painful viewing, but incredibly Rea walked away from the incident and was able to participate in Sunday's races.
“I couldn't believe I walked away,” Rea told Crash.net
. “I just knew I wasn't going to be able to save it and there came a point when I just thought 'this is going to be massive'.
“When I landed I was a bit winded and a bit sore, but I sat up and got my bearings and got up and walked away."
Rea banged his head violently on the tarmac upon impact and afterwards praised the effectiveness of his safety equipment, which undoubtedly saved him from serious injury.
“There's a reason Arai helmets cost what they do and that's because of their quality," he said.
“I'm just happy that I've got the best helmet in the world and I can't thank Arai enough. After that crash on the Saturday we knew we could race but we knew that it was going to be tough.
“In both races I felt that I could have competed for the podium, but in race one we just completely picked the wrong tyre.
“It was a huge gamble for the track conditions because the temperature dropped quite a lot compared to the rest of the weekend, so we went with a more aggressive strategy rather than a conservative option and it didn't work out for us.”
After taking ninth in race one, Rea made up ground in race two, eventually taking a solid fifth place to leave him in sixth position overall in the standings after two rounds, 35 points adrift of Carlos Checa on the Althea Ducati.
“In race two I got involved in some silly manoeuvres on the first lap and dropped back to 14th, but when I got some clear track I was able to get my head down and lap as fast as the guys at the front.
“I made up some ground to the front group and made some passes to get into the top five and I was really happy with the way I rode.”