Team Honda World Superbike's Jonathan Rea tested Casey Stoner's Honda RC213V at the Brno Circuit in the Czech Republic today and will likely be in the saddle for the next two rounds of the MotoGP World Championship at Misano and Aragon - and until Stoner returns from injury.
Rea was throw into the deep end at the test, learning not only the RC213V, but also the Bridgestone tires (the World Superbike Series uses spec-Pirellis). He responded well, ending up 3.3 seconds off pace setter Cal Crutchlow's best after improving some five seconds over the course of the day.
"It's an opportunity of a lifetime for me and I'm thankful to Honda for asking me to be here, although I'm gutted for the guys in the team and obviously for Casey as he is the guy that should be here and I wish him a fast recovery," Rea said in a team release after his first day on the bike. "My first impressions are that the bike isn't that difficult, it's the tires and the way they work that I'm finding hard. I'm struggling to finish off the corner, which is definitely a confidence issue as I just need to load the front and find that confidence but it's my first day and I don't want to find that limit - or risk overstepping it just yet. It's great to be able to see Dani's [Pedrosa] data and learn where to go fast, that's a big help.
"I don't underestimate how tough a job it is, I just need some time and I don't feel pressure to perform; it's a learning process with the team and people around me. It's been a great day, one of the best days of my life. I've been a Honda rider all my career and now to ride the best Honda machine in the world has been a dream come true."