Jonthan Rea: Monza Double Crash & DNF

WSBK Report

Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider Jonathan Rea crashed out of both of today’s fifth round World Superbike championship motorcycle races at Monza in Italy, ending the weekend without a single point but still retaining third place in the 2010 championship standings.

His World SBK teammate Max Neukirchner did not enjoy a trouble-free raceday either, struggling with chatter in race one and then having to fight back from last place in race two after being forced off the circuit on the opening lap.

Starting from the front row of the grid on his CBR1000RR, Rea got away slowly in the first of today’s 18-lap encounters at the 5.777km Monza circuit, ending lap one in 11th place. The 23-year-old calmly fought his way up to fourth before falling unhurt at the fast entry to the Parabolica turn on lap eight.

In WSBK race two, the Northern Irishman was caught in a first-corner melée after getting clipped by another rider. Rea was transferred back to the medical centre but n othing more than a sore left ankle was diagnosed.

After making a step forward at the final round in Holland, Max Neukirchner was unable to consolidate on improvements to his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR. The German qualified ninth but suffered chatter problems in race one which relegated him to a 12th place finish.

Small changes to the bike produced a better package for race two, but Neukirchner was forced into the gravel at Monza’s famous Ascari chicane on the first lap, rejoining the race in last place but fighting back for another 12th place finish.

Max Neukirchner (Race 1: 12th and Race 2: 12th) says: "The chatter was really bad in race one but the changes we made improved the bike a lot for race two. Unfortunately, as we went into the Ascari chicane on the first lap, Chris Vermeulen was on the inside and made a mistake which forced me right across the gravel. When I got back on the track I was in last place."

"But the changes to the bike allowed me to brake deeper into the corners, with better grip levels and I could get on the throttle faster on the exit. It was an improvement and we’ve learned some more this weekend but the results were still not good. We need to work on braking even deeper and getting the bike upright earlier, and we’ll try to do that next weekend in South Africa."

Jonathan Rea (Race 1: DNF and Race 2: DNF) says: "Well it’s been a bad weekend for our assault on the championship. I made a small mistake at the end of the back straight in the first race when I was trying to avoid Leon [Haslam] and Cal [Crutchlow]. Then race two ended before it had begun when I got skittled off going in the first corner."

"But I’m not down in the dumps about it. It’s times like these that you can really tell the strength of a team and I know that this team is really very strong. They gave me a good bike this weekend but we co uldn’t really make the most of it. I’m actually really excited at the challenge ahead, because we were able to make up quite a lot of points in the middle and end of last season. We’ll all pull together now and I fully intend to get back to winning ways at Kyalami next weekend."

Ronald ten Kate (TK Honda Racing Manager) says: "After the perfect weekend in Assen last time out, we knew that our little Hannspree Ten Kate world would not always enjoy days like that. But we certainly hit the other side of perfect today. We still remain confident, however, because the speed shown by Jonathan this weekend will surely bring him back to the front of the field at the next round."

"But it wasn’t just Jonathan who had difficulties today. Max had chatter problems in race one and was pushed off the track early in race two. Even so, after the step forward he enjoyed at Assen, we weren’t able to repeat it here in Monza, so there is plenty more work to do."

2010 World Superbike Championship – Round Five – Monza, Italy (5.777km – 18 laps) – Results

Race One:
1. Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia 31’07.044s
2. James Toseland (GBR) Yamaha +0.247s
3. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha +0.297s
4. Leon Haslam (GBR) Suzuki +0.958s
12. Max Neukirchner (GER) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda +22.231s
DNF Jonathan Rea (GBR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda

Race Two:
1. Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia 31’07.122s
2. Leon Haslam (GBR) Suzuki +4.547s
3. Troy Corser (AUS) +5.469s
4. Leon Camier (GBR) Aprilia +10.267s
12. Max Neukirchner (GER) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda +29.315s
DNF Jonathan Rea (GBR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda

Championship points after 5 of 13 rounds: 1 Haslam 181, 2 Biaggi 178, 3 Rea 110, 4 Checa 110, 5 Toseland 106, 6 Noriyuki Haga (JPN) Ducati 100

The next World Superbike motorcycle racing event (Round 6) will be held in Kyalami, South Africa from May 14th to 16th