Jonathan Rea: Miller SBK Crash & Finish

Superbike News

After a crash during Superpole qualifying, Jonathan Rea took hard-earned 14th and 8th place finishes in the two seventh round in the World Superbike races at Miller Motorsports Park in the USA.

His teammate Max Neukirchner also struggled at the 4.907km circuit near Salt Lake City, placing 12th in the two 21-lap motorcycle races.

Both World SBK races were won by Max Biaggi after early leader Carlos Checa ran into electrical problems, as Rea and Neukirchner complained of handling problems with their machines.

Rea crashed at the beginning of lap three in the first race, but remounted in last place to begin a dogged fight back to 14th place at the flag and two championship points.

However, changes to his front fork settings for race two did not improve his bike’s handling and the 23-year-old was forced to settle for eighth.

Neukirchner suffered similar handling issues and, starting from 16th place on the grid, the German rider struggled to make any impact on the standings.

The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team is now looking forward to an upcoming two-day test at Assen in The Netherlands, before heading for round eight of the championship at Misano, Italy on 25-27 June.

Jonathan Rea (14th and 8th) says: "It’s quite hard to take many positives out of the weekend really. We’ve had big problems all weekend and nothing we tried did anything to fix them. We made a big – and I mean BIG – change to the front of the bike for race two, but the characteristics were exactly the same. Unfortunately, I’m missing the first day of our test at Assen because I’m riding in the 300km race at Suzuka, but there’s plenty for Max and the team to be working through. I really hope we can get something to take to the next race at Misano, because I have some great memories of that round last year."

Max Neukirchner (12th and 12th) says: "We tried something different for the second race because in the first one the bike was pitching too much – diving too fast under the brakes and coming up too quickly under acceleration. We thought the change would work but it didn’t, so we have another two disappointing results to take away from this race. I hope we can have two really positive days at the Assen test in two weeks, because there is a lot we need to get through. It’s frustrating because I know I can do better than what my results are showing."

Ronald ten Kate says: "There is no hiding from the fact that this has been a bad weekend for us. With the chatter that both riders experienced, they could only ride around and make laps. We now have a two-day test at Assen where we will try quite a few new bits and pieces because we have to be in better shape at Misano. Having said that, Miller is the last race this year where we didn’t have sus pension data from Ohlins. We start at Misano with at least some reference points from last year. We hope that data will yield much better results for the rest of the season."

2010 World Superbike championship – round seven
Miller Motorsports Park, USA (4.907km – 21 laps) – results

Race one:
1. Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia
2. Leon Haslam (GBR) Suzuki
3. Noriyuki Haga (JPN) Ducati
4. Leon Camier (GBR) Aprilia
12. Max Neukirchner (GER) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
14. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda

Race two:
1. Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia
2. Leon Camier (GBR) Aprilia
3. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha
4. Noriyuki Haga (JPN) Ducati
8. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda
12. Max Neukirchner (GER) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda

Championship points after seven of 13 rounds: 1 Biaggi 257, 2 Haslam 242, 3 Rea 151, 4 Checa 141, 5 Haga 135, 6 James Toseland (GBR) Yamaha 132

Next round: Misano, Italy – 25-27 June