Jonathan Rea says hitting a false neutral was the cause for his crash in race one at the Lausitzring and his Kawasaki team will run a full investigation to avoid the issue as he looks to battle back in Germany for race two.
The defending World Superbike champion saw his lead slashed to 26 points with his Kawasaki team-mate finishing second to Aruba.it Racing Ducati's Chaz Davies after false neutral engine problems returned for the Northern Irish rider.
On lap six under braking into turn 10 Rea appeared to lock-up with his Kawasaki ZX-10R jolting which sent him tumbling off the bike. Rea has confirmed it was caused by the return of false neutral gremlins which reared up at Donington Park and at other rounds this year.
“It is a very disappointing way to end the first race. I had a good start and settled into a rhythm behind Tom, but Chaz Davies' pace saw him in a different race,” Rea, who had been running in third before his off, said. “I found a false neutral entering turn 10 and tried to get it into first gear before the corner. Right at the exit of the track it went into first gear and high-sided.
“I was not injured in the crash. This is the first time that my Alpinestars air-bag race suit has been called on to go off, so I was happy to be protected by that.”
Looking to solve the issues ahead of race two at the German round, Rea says the team will run a thorough analysis and aim to cure the bike of its issue to enable him to battle back.
“We will think about what we need to do to improve the bike a little again tomorrow,” he said. “I need to understand what the bike needs now, especially under acceleration. It is a frustrating way to end the first race day but we still have the championship lead, which is important.”