Rea Leads Imola Test

Gordon Ritchie | July 16, 2009

After spending the first day, as he said in his own words, “testing the rider’s head” and only working on finding his way around the track at Imola, Jonathan Rea took his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR to the best time of the World Superbike test today at the Imola circuit in Italy, setting his best of 1:48.670 right at the end of the hot afternoon session.Track temperatures hit 140 degrees and more in this last World Superbike session, which was interrupted after Ruben Xaus’s BMW left a small trail of oil on one part of the track.Even though it was much hotter in the afternoon session, some previous best times tumbled close to the end as qualifying tires or simply softer tires were used by some riders.Michel Fabrizio was next quickest with Ben Spies overall third, thanks to his Wednesday afternoon time. Lorenzo Lanzi, on his privateer DFX Ducati, was fourth fastest with his time set in the morning session when the track was cooler.Alstare Suzuki’s Max Neukirchner crashed his GSX-R1000 at the Tamburello corner 90 minutes into the morning session. The German, who was back on the bike again at Imola after recovering from his Monza crash, was stretchered to the medical center where he was diagnosed as having small fractures of his L1, L2 and L3 on the right hand side, plus a fractured D12 bone as well. Absolute rest is required and he will be fitted with a plaster chest brace for a minimum of one month.John Hopkins ended up sixth overall on the Stiggy Honda with his time in the morning session, but he was advised not to ride in the afternoon session by the staff at the Clinica mobile.

Superbike Times

1. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1:48.670

2,. Michael Fabrizio (Ducati) 1:48.847

3. Ben Spies (Yamaha) 1:49.262

4. Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati) 1:49.309

5. Tom Sykes (Yamaha) 1:49.422

6. John Hopkins (Honda) 1:49.443

7. Ruben Xaus (BMW) 1:49.467

8. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1:49.555

9. Shane Byrne (Ducati) 1:49.577

10. Shinya Nakano (Aprilia) 1:49.64

Gordon Ritchie | World Superbike Editor

You may not understand Ritchie and his Scottish accent if you had him on the phone, but you can definitely understand what he writes as our World Superbike editor.