Lucky escape for Jonathan Rea: “It felt like I was tumbling forever”

Jonathan Rea: “It was just a blur really – it was that fast. I went down and it felt like I was tumbling forever.”

Jonathan Rea, 2024 Misano WorldSBK
Jonathan Rea, 2024 Misano WorldSBK

Jonathan Rea suffered another punishing day on the Yamaha R1 at Misano on Saturday, qualifying just 15th and then suffering a massive accident on the opening lap of Race 1.

The Ulsterman sustained left wrist and hand contusions but fortunately escaped serious injury. However, he will be reassessed before warm-up tomorrow morning.

“Really frustrated, because my race ended before it had begun,” said the six-time WorldSBK champion. “It was a knock-on effect from a bad qualifying, being in the middle of a mess in the first corners.

“Then when things started stringing out in the fast section, I got quite close to Aegerter in the fast Turn 12 and just opened up the line a little bit to create some space but ran over the shoulder of the corner and to be honest from that moment, it was just a blur really – it was that fast.

“I went down and it felt like I was tumbling forever, but I’m so thankful to have good protection from Alpinestars and Arai – they kept me safe today, apart from a few bumps and bruises, but I should be good for tomorrow.

“The target is to try to get some good feeling tomorrow, make a good start and start finding some confidence.”

Team boss Paul Denning added: "Qualifying was a disaster for Jonathan... We weren’t a million miles away but the position was disappointing.

“He felt better on a revised setting on the sighting laps, but unfortunately a huge crash on Lap 1 at Turn 13 means that we don’t have any more information and we didn’t get a chance to build the flow and confidence going into tomorrow – but the most critical point is that Jonathan is more or less ok.

“We’ll keep our heads, keep positive and do everything we can to help JR come back to his true level and climb out of this difficult moment as a team.”

Rea’s Pata team-mate Andrea Locatelli finished as the top R1 rider in fourth place after early race leader Remy Gardner faded to sixth place.

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