With the help of the team, the 18-year-old Ulster rider found a strong set-up for the CBR1000RR Fireblade at Thruxton. This enabled him to score his best finish in the series so far. Rea claimed 12th position in race two – ahead of more experienced campaigners – despite starting from 27th on the grid.
Rea is now hoping for another points-scoring finish at Leicestershire’s Mallory Park this weekend, continuing his development within the Red Bull Honda project as one of the UK’s most talented young riders. He did not race at the 1.39-mile Leicestershire circuit last year due to injury, so is aiming to make best use of the free practice and qualifying sessions at the track in preparation for race day.
Jonathan Rea: “I aggravated my ankle injury from last year in an incident during qualifying at Thruxton. In a strange way, it made me push myself harder during the race because I knew that I could bounce back if I came off. It was fantastic to finish in 12th place. That has given me more confidence in my ability for Mallory Park this weekend.”
Laverty’s learning curve
After just two rounds of the 2005 British Supersport Championship, Eugene Laverty has already undertaken a steep learning curve. A sixth place finish on his debut at the opening round at Brands Hatch was followed by a DNF at round two at Thruxton.
However, the talented Toomebridge teenager is using this experience to develop as a rider aboard the championship-conquering Red Bull Honda CBR600RR. Laverty remains confident that he can rise to the challenge of finishing inside the top five in the ultra-competitive series.
The Red Bull Honda star heads to the 1.39-mile track at Leicestershire’s Mallory Park with that aim in mind, and to collect some valuable points towards his championship tally. Laverty has already showed fantastic promise at the track when he claimed a podium finish aboard the Honda RS125 last year.”
Eugene Laverty: “I had a frustrating end to the race at Thruxton, but that has just made me more determined to do well at Mallory Park. The team has been fantastic and the Red Bull Honda CBR600RR is working really well. It’s important for me to develop some experience in the Supersport series, so that I can mount a serious challenge for a top five position.”
Rookie returns to his roots
Chris Jones returns to the circuit that has so far brought him good luck for round three of the British 125GP Championship. The 14-year-old rookie was selected as a Red Bull Honda rider at Mallory Park in Leicestershire, at the end of 2004, so he has already had the opportunity to practice at the 1.39-mile circuit.
Round two of the action-packed series at Thruxton led to a frustrating end for Jones, following a last lap crash. The incident cost the Droitwich teenager third place and the podium position he had battled hard for throughout the 14-lap race.
However, he has been passed fit and is aiming to complete race distance at Mallory Park this weekend to increase his experience of the Honda-dominated championship – a points-scoring finish would be well-deserved.
Chris Jones: “I like Mallory Park and I’ve always been able to put in good times at that track, so I’m hoping for a good result. Although, my main aim for this weekend is just to complete the race. The Red Bull Honda RS125 is fantastic and I’m sure that I will be able to achieve podium finishes when I have a little bit more experience in the series.”
Mallory Park – vital statistics
Circuit length: 1.39 miles
Superbike lap record: M. Rutter 51.722
2004 BSB race one result: 1. J. Reynolds; 2. Y. Kagayama; 3. S. Smart
2004 BSB race two result: 1. S. Smart; 2. J. Reynolds; 3. R. Kiyonari
Supersport lap record: J. Vincent 52.758
2004 BSS result: 1. K. Harris; 2. J. Vincent; 3. L. Camier
125GP lap record: A. Beech 54.953
2004 125GP result: 1. C. Elkin; 2. A. Beech; 3. E. Laverty