Jonathan Rea was cleared fit to ride in the final World Superbike championship round of 2010 at Magny-Cours and, despite injuries to his wrist and shoulder posted a qualifying time only 0.5s off the provisional pole time of Lorenzo Lanzi.
Later during Superpole, Jonathan Rea confounded seasoned World Superbike championship observers today by snatching a gutsy second row start on the grid for tomorrow’s final two races of the 2010 series at Magny-Cours in France.
The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider, who broke his wrist and dislocated his collarbone just a week ago at Imola in Italy, made it through to the Superpole knockout stages of qualification, setting the sixth fastest time in Superpole 3 – less than half a second off Cal Crutchlow’s pole position time and a tenth away from a front row start.
Rea’s crew sent him out on a race tyre for the opening Superpole session, saving his two allotted qualifying tyres for the latter stages.
The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland duly delivered, improving his chances of retaining third place overall in the championship standings in tomorrow’s two 23-lap races around the 4.411km Magny-Cours circuit.
Jonathan Rea (P6, 1m38.155s) says: "Well, I made it through to Superpole 3, which I was surprised but really, really, happy about. Last Tuesday, we were still making the decision about whether to come to Magny-Cours, but my surgeon and physio hooked me up with a cast that I can ride with."
"I couldn’t have done it without them and the guys in Clinica Mobile, who have been strapping my shoulder every session. You know, it’s hard to believe what we’ve just achieved given the state I’m in, but I want to thank all my team. They’ve kept my spirits up and been patient with me on the bike when I’ve been doing a bit of moaning about being sore, but we pulled it out of the bag."
"We took a bit of a gamble not going out on a qualifier until Superpole 2 but it worked and I ended up having a Q for the last session. I didn’t make the most of it and messed up on my first lap but second row is a lot more than I expected and thanks to everybody that got me in."
2010 World Superbike championship – round 13 – Magny-Cours, France (4.411km) – final qualifying results:
1. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha 1m37.699s
2. Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Suzuki 1m37.768s
3. Jakub Smrz (CZE) Aprilia 1m37.784s
4. Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia 1m38.039s
6. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda 1m38.155s