A crash during free practice at the Norfolk circuit left the Ulster teenager sidelined from both races and under observation in a local hospital. Despite a slight swelling to the left chest, Rea has attended recent MCRCB British Superbike tests at Cadwell Park and Silverstone.
The purpose of these practice sessions was to re-familiarise himself with the Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade and to gain a better knowledge of the circuits. He feels confident that his aims were achieved and the 18-year-old is now ready to once again take on the challenge of his debut season in the world’s leading domestic series.
Rea has so far proved his capabilities by becoming the youngest ever person to secure pole position in the championship. He has also finished inside the top ten on three occasions over race distance. The Ballyclare rider is now aiming to make his place inside the top ten a more permanent one, starting with Silverstone this weekend.
Jonathan Rea: “I’ve made a lot of progress with recovering from my injury over the past five weeks and have been able to take part in some valuable testing. I’m satisfied with the way that the season has gone so far but I’m certain that I can improve.
“I feel really comfortable on the Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR now. The team has been excellent in developing the machinery, considering that this was a new race bike at the start of the season and I want to repay their hard work with strong results.”
Laverty leads the way in testing
If recent MCRCB British Supersport tests at Silverstone are anything to go by, Red Bull Honda’s Eugene Laverty is on course for his first podium finish of the season this weekend. The 19-year-old led every practice session at the Northamptonshire circuit aboard the all-conquering CBR600RR.
Toomebridge-based Laverty has adapted quickly to his debut season in the ultra-competitive Supersport series. He has qualified on the front row and finished inside the top five over race distance. The Ulster teenager also briefly led the last race of the championship at Snetterton before electrical problems with the Red Bull Honda restricted him to an eventual ninth place finish.
Laverty has used the recent five-week break to take advantage of as much testing as possible at Cadwell Park and Silverstone. As a result he will be moving to different profile Dunlop tyres for this weekend’s race. He is confident that these new developments – along with the experience that he has gathered in the championship so far – will help him to achieve his highest race finish of the year to date.
Eugene Laverty: “I’m really happy with how testing has gone. I feel like I’ve fully adjusted to the Red Bull Honda CBR600RR now, so I’m ready to go out and prove what I’m capable of. We’ve done some important testing with Dunlop recently and I think a change of tyres is going to help improve my results in the series.”
Rookie Jones on a roll
Following his latest victory at round eight of the British 125GP Championship at Snetterton, Chris Jones has not been resting on his laurels. The race win – his second of the season – added to two further podium finishes has placed the 14-year-old third in the series overall.
With just 32 points separating him from the championship leader and five races remaining, the Droitwich teenager is still capable of seizing the title in his debut year in the series.
Jones participated in both MCRCB British 125GP tests at Cadwell Park and Silverstone during the five-week break from racing. The talented teenager led every session at both circuits and is confident that he can retain his recent run of good results for Red Bull Honda.
Chris Jones: “I’m really happy at the moment. I seem to have hit my stride over the last few events and I can’t wait to get back to racing again. I feel that I still have a real shot at the championship, which is great.
“I struggled to adjust to new circuits, machinery and team all at once at the beginning of the season, but Red Bull Honda has been fantastic and I’m now feeling positive about the remainder of the season.”