Thruxton was a strong circuit for Rea last year. He finished sixth in the ultra-competitive British Supersport race – his highest finish of the season before it was cut short due to the left femur and ankle injury sustained at Knockhill. The 18-year-old will start tomorrow’s two 22-lap races from 27th position on the grid.
An incident during the morning qualifying session at the Hampshire circuit ended with Rea landing quite heavily on his left side. Although he banged his previously injured ankle and his left hand, the Red Bull Honda rider is fit to race tomorrow.
Jonathan Rea: “I’m actually quite relieved to have had an off this early in the season because I now know my limitations. I feel more confident about my riding because I realise that I can land on the side that I injured last year and still walk away. I’ll be happy to finish the races tomorrow. The most important thing for me is to continue to learn from my first year in such a competitive series.”
Qualifying: 1. M. Rutter (HM Plant Honda Racing) 1:15.601; 2. L Haslam (Ducati) +0.134; 3. S. Emmett (Yamaha) +0.146; 4. K. Harris (Honda-Racing.co.uk) +0.318; 5. R. Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda Racing) +0.345; 6. G. Richards (Kawasaki) +0.440; 7. G. Lavilla (Ducati) +0.538; 8. S. Smart (Suzuki) +0.703; 9. T. Hill (Yamaha) +0.764; 10. D. Thomas (Kawasaki) +0.775
27. J. Rea (Red Bull Honda) +2.843
Top five for Laverty
Eugene Laverty has used qualifying for the 2.3-mile race at Thruxton tomorrow to build on the promising start that he made to his debut British Supersport Championship at Brands Hatch over Easter weekend. The Red Bull Honda rider will start the second leg of the series from the front of second row on the grid at the Hampshire circuit.
The 18-year-old from Toomebridge has further developed the set-up of the back-to-back championship-winning Honda CBR600RR over the weekend to suit his riding style. Having finished in 17th position at the end of the first practice, Ulster teenager Laverty soon upped his pace to finish inside the Honda-dominated top ten of every other Supersport session of the weekend.
At the end of first qualifying Laverty was in sixth position, which he maintained for the majority of the second leg. However, having dropped to ninth place and third row on the grid towards the closing stages of the session, the determined teen used the final lap to power the Red Bull Honda machine into fifth position for a strong start to tomorrow’s race.
Eugene Laverty: “I’m really pleased with fifth place. At the start of the second qualifying session, the team adjusted the set-up slightly and it was much better suited to my riding style. On the last lap I just put my head down and concentrated on putting in as fast a time as I was capable of. I won at Thruxton last year in the 125 championship, so I’m hoping that this will continue to be a good circuit for me.”
Qualifying: 1. S. Easton (Ducati) 1:17.421; 2. L. Camier (Padgetts Honda) +0.065; 3. J. Vincent (Padgetts Honda) 0.987; 4. C. Jones (Honda) +01.082; 5. E. Laverty (Red Bull Honda) +1.131; 6. J. Robinson (Honda) +1.167; 7. C. Crutchlow (Honda) +1.176; 8. T. Sykes (Suzuki) +1.254; 9. K. Murphy (Honda) +1.345; 10. P. Riba (Kawasaki) +1.460
Second front row for Jones
British 125GP Championship rookie Chris Jones has maintained his 100 per cent record by qualifying on the front row of the grid for the second consecutive time. The 14-year-old will start tomorrow’s race at the Hampshire circuit from fourth position.
An incident at the Brands Hatch season opener cut Jones’ debut Red Bull Honda race short, but he has regained his confidence ahead of the 16-lap race at Thruxton. The Droitwich teenager’s qualifying performance aboard the Honda RS125 has ensured that the rookie is in a strong position for race two of the 13-leg championship.
Jones has utilised the practice sessions to familiarise himself with the 2.3-mile track, having never visited the flat, former airfield circuit before. Despite that, the talented teenager has consistently been running inside the top four.
Chris Jones: “I’m happy to be on the front row, especially since this is my first time at Thruxton. It’s very windy, which makes riding conditions difficult, but as a whole I quite like the circuit. My main aim tomorrow is to finish the race and establish some points. Obviously if I could finish on the podium then that would be even better.”
Qualifying: 1.C. Elkin (Honda) 1:22.686; 2. K. Coghlan (Honda) +0.390; 3. J. Westmoreland (Honda) +0771; 4. C. Jones (Red Bull Honda) +0.913; 5. M. Wilcox (Honda) +0.973; 6. D. Linfoot (Honda) +1.013; 7. J. Pearson (Honda) +1.060; 8. B. Clark (Honda) +1.104; 9. K. Weston (Honda) +1.140; 10. P. Robinson (Honda) +1.208