With the World Superbike teams gathering at Phillip Island in Australia for the first round of the 2011 World Superbike series, Jonathan Rea crashed during a championship test session, potentially jeopardising his participation in this weekend's opening round of the championship.
Rea had set the third quickest time in the morning session on day two of an official WSBK test and was on his first lap of the afternoon when he crashed at the fast turn three, getting off his Castrol Honda CBR1000RR at around 130mph.
Dislocated the ring finger on his left hand, he was transferred to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne to undergo X-rays and scans on his left wrist. Despite the crash, the 24 year-old's time remained the third fastest overall, with Carlos Checa and Sylvain Guintoli taking the top two slots.
His Castrol Honda teammate, Ruben Xaus, meanwhile set the 13th fastest time over the two days. The Spanish rider continues to familiarize himself with the Ten Kate CBR1000RR after severely curtailed winter testing time, and has been able to improve his times in each of the testing sessions at Phillip Island.
Jonathan Rea - best lap 1m31.206s
I'm so frustrated because we were just about there on race pace and everything was feeling really good. Early in this afternoon's session, I was in turn three and winding it on when I suddenly felt the rear squirming. I then realized the bike was on fire. Basically, I had to get off quickly and unfortunately it was at 130mph. My finger and wrist are sore - in fact, I'm pretty sore all over - but I'm still waiting for the final diagnosis.
At the moment it's too early to know how I'll be feeling at the weekend, but I certainly didn't want to start this season the way I finished the last one... I know it's one of those things you don't expect and can't prepare for, but it's nobody's fault and we'll just have to hope I can be back soon.
Ruben Xaus - best lap 1m32.405s
We've had four days here and done many laps on the bike, which I really needed. It's like when you go to school and you need to put in the study hours to improve. We had a few problems in the first test last week when we struggled for grip. Johnny has given me some help and his set-up, which is completely different to what we had last week. During the last two days we have shifted more weight to the front and it's definitely improved things. We've worked step-by-step, especially to stop the bike jumping around at the rear. We've got a couple of days to relax and analyze things.
I'd like to be closer to the front, of course, but we haven't had the best weather during our winter tests, so we haven't done as many laps as some others. The times are still quite close though, so I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike this weekend and getting the season started, which I hope will be the same for Johnny.
Meanwhile, the Ten Kate team's Hannspree Supersport riders, Frenchmen Fabien Foret and Florian Marino, both set impressive times during an official two-day World Supersport test at Phillip Island.
Foret returns to the Ten Kate team for the first time since winning the World Supersport championship with them in 2002. He set the fastest overall time of the test, with Marino running fourth.
Foret's best lap of 1m33.904s was less than 0.1s off the fastest ever World Supersport lap at Phillip Island.
It is 17 year-old Marino's first visit to the fast 4.5km circuit, which lies 150km south of Melbourne, and he has continued to improve lap times following a private two-day test at the circuit last week.
Phillip Island will host this weekend's opening round of the World Supersport championship, with the Ten Kate team aiming for its ninth title in 10 years.