World Superbike: Rea Scores Points After Miller Proves A Challenge

Honda Racing Press Release

World Superbike: Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) was the only Honda rider to leave Miller Motorsports Park in the points after finishing race two in 11th place and he is now sixth in the championship itself, only one point behind fifth. Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda) had one DNF and an 18th place after another fall and is now 16th overall.

Both Miller races were won by Carlos Checa (Ducati) and the championship leader extended his advantage over his closest challengers Marco Melandri (Yamaha) and Max Biaggi (Aprilia) to 61 and 62 points respectively.

Finding a set-up of the Miller circuit was difficult as the first day was dry, the second day and superpole wet and changeable, then race day was dry again. Jonathan had been 13th in superpole, Xaus 14th. This was despite the best efforts of the Castrol Honda team who tested at the Miller Motorsport facility earlier in the week, after having designated this circuit as their test track in an attempt to reverse the poor fortunes they suffered here last year.

In race one each Castrol Honda rider fell, Rea after a clash with Max Biaggi (Aprilia), whom Jonathan felt had moved across him as he passed up the inside of the reigning World champion into turn 12 on the opening lap. Ruben had a similar experience at turn one on lap four, as he clashed with Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki). Ruben put it down to a racing accident as a result of his own eagerness to get past his rival.

Race two had Rea fighting for a top ten throughout, only losing out after a final corner challenge on Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) that did not quite come off. Xaus fell on lap three, but remounted to finish 18th and out of the points.

Both riders will now look ahead to the next round in Italy in two weeks time, and will hope that the return to Europe will bring better fortunes as the series moves towards the mid point in its thirteen stop tour. The trip to the USA marked the second and final fly-away event of the 2011 championship.

Honda Rider Comments:

Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda)
Race result: DNF /11th Championship position: 6th

“I made a great first lap in race one before the crash, but basically the easiest way to explain the fall was that I was far enough though on the inside for Biaggi to just give up position, but he insisted on coming back and throwing the bike on top of me. In the end I had to pick up and hit him right on the middle of his bike. I was definitely far enough through to justify him noticing I was there. It was frustrating. In race two we just didn’t have the pace we needed and I was making lunges to pass other riders. I was unhappy to be outside the top ten so I was doing anything I could to pass Tom Sykes at the end. It was just a struggle on race day despite everybody’s hard work. Surely there will be tracks that suit us better.”

Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda)
Race result: DNF / 18th Championship position: 16th

“In race one I braked the same as normal, but my normal is ten metres later than Michel’s normal. I thought he would turn in like normal, but he closed in, like you need to do to cover the position, then I fell. It was a shame because I hit a competitor, a friend of mine, but that is racing. In race two I just touched my engine on the high kerbstone and crashed. I had a great start and the mechanics had made some changes so the bike was working well. I felt good, passing people and I just needed to keep going on my own way to the top ten, until I touched the kerb.”

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