Jonathan Rea comes away from the 11th round of the World Superbike Championship at the Moscow Raceway with just a seventh place to show for after seeing his hopes of a podium challenge ended by crashes in both races.
The Ulsterman, who has just been confirmed as Casey Stoner's temporary replacement at Repsol Honda for the next two MotoGP rounds, showed well to challenge for the podium in both races around the new Russian circuit, but ended the day with relatively scant reward for his efforts.
Running third in race one when a false neutral caused him to fold the front-end of his Honda, the ten-time WSBK winner was set for at least a fourth place finish in the second race when Eugene Laverty high-sided on the final lap and collected the hapless Rea.
Coming off the bike, though Rea was able to remount and complete the remaining two corners for seventh place, it was a disappointing return on a day that had promised more.
“It's been quite a frustrating day because we had good pace in both races,” he said. “In race one I was battling for the podium and had a false neutral in turn 16 so, with no engine braking, I lost the front. The guys had to build me a new bike from parts in the truck and luckily it felt pretty good for race two.
“I got a slowish start and could see that Sykes was pulling away but I thought I could go with him and Melandri and I had to get past Laverty. The bike felt really good, but I was losing a lot of ground on the straight. I got involved in another rider's crash when he high-sided in front of me but that's part of racing.
“We can take some positives out of the day because my crew worked slowly and surely through the weekend and we got a bike that was capable of winning. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot to show for it, so it's been a tough weekend.”
Rea will now immediately travel to Brno where he will get the chance to test the factory RC213V before making his planned MotoGP appearances at Misano and Motorland Aragon.