Moments after posting the third overall quickest time at the final pre-season World Superbike test at Phillip Island, Jonathan Rea crashed his Castrol Honda CBR1000RR at Turn 3.
The Ten Kate Honda team’s report states oil leaked onto the superbike’s rear tire from the motor, which caused a fire on the Honda. Due to the fire, Rea was forced to jump from his Honda Superbike at about 130 mph, and subsequently dislocated his left ring finger and experience pain in his left wrist.
Due to the injuries, Rea may miss the opening World Superbike round that begins at Phillip Island this weekend. Rea was taken to the clinic at the track where X-Rays were performed, but no bones were reported broken.
Although the 24-year-old Northern Irishman crashed, he still maintained third position overall, 0.7 of a second behind the test leader Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198R) and 0.1 of a second behind Sylvain Guintoli (Effenbert – Liberty Racing Ducati 1198R). Rea’s fastest lap aboard the Honda was a 1:31.206.
Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda Superbike) says: "I’m so frustrated because we were just about there on race pace and everything was feeling really good. Early in this afternoon’s session, I was in turn three and winding it on when I suddenly felt the rear squirming and then I realized the bike was on fire.
"Basically I had to get off it quickly and unfortunately it was at 130mph, which is quick enough. My finger and wrist are sore – in fact I’m pretty sore all over – but I’m still waiting for the final diagnosis.
"At the moment it’s too early to know how I’ll be feeling at the weekend, but I certainly didn’t want to start this season the way I finished the last one. I know it’s one of those things that you don’t expect and can’t prepare for, but it’s nobody’s fault and we’ll just have to hope I can be back on it soon."
Ronald ten Kate (Castrol Honda Superbike Team Manager) says: "The testing was going well until the start of this afternoon’s session when Jonathan Rea had a very big crash. He was not to blame at all for the crash, which came at high speed when the machine started to leak oil on his rear tire and caught fire.
"Rea was forced to jump off at one of the fastest corners of the track. We hope he’ll be back on the bike with us soon."