Jonathan Rea encountered more cruel luck in Aragon today as bad weather once again severely disrupted preparations for his second MotoGP appearance for Repsol Honda.
The British rider didn’t complete a single lap in this morning’s opening practice, which was delayed by one hour after a heavy oil spill in the earlier Moto3 session.
The track surface had dried by the time the session finally got underway but it wasn’t wet enough for Bridgestone’s rain rubber or dry enough for slicks.
Rea managed to put in 15-laps on a full wet track this afternoon in his second appearance as injured Casey Stoner’s stand-in at HRC and he clocked the 11th best time.
His best lap of 2.04.046 left him 3.827s behind the best pace set by Ben Spies as he tried to get up to speed quickly on his first experience of Bridgestone’s wet weather tyres.
Rea told MCN: “The big difference for me was how the tyres were when they break traction. You can play with the rear grip a little bit. With the (Pirelli) tyre in World Superbikes, when it breaks rear grip you normally end up on your head.
"I was riding a bit like a girl today and I needed to push the tyre a little bit more and be a bit more comfortable with the bike moving around. It is fun but I wasn’t very happy because in the last three laps I was in personal best sectors and overcooked the corners because the front tyre was not very stable.
"I feel like the carcass was moving too much and I didn’t have a good contact feeling. I messed up my last few laps but we can improve for tomorrow. For me the front Pirelli tyre is so much more stable.
"I’ve got a very good feeling with the front but the rear tyre here gives you a lot more information and it is more soft and you can play with it more.”
Rea said the weather disruption was frustrating, particularly as his premier class debut in Misano earlier this month had been severely hampered by rain.
Today’s downpour also prevented him from building on the confidence gained at a recent test session he completed in dry conditions at the Motorland Aragon track and he added: “It is frustrating. I was making some jokes in the box and I said to the guys ‘I’m sorry it must be me.’ They said they’d never met such an unlucky stand-in rider.
"When we went to Misano I had 60 minutes in the dry before the race and now here. I hope it is not a lost day and we can use this information for something because it is not like I need to build on anything for more races.
"My job is a replacement rider and for me this is s**t because I’ve just lost a day. Looking to Sunday it makes things harder.”
Rea though admitted that the rain might inadvertently play into his hands if Sunday’s race is run in the dry, with only Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa and Ben Spies attending the recent test session to get valuable set-up information.
He said: “For me it could be better because I had a private test here four weeks ago and I did over 100 laps and I had a good feeling with the bike.
"Maybe it will suit me better but the problem again is I am coming back from a full weekend of World Superbikes where I had a good feeling with the bike and could push for the win.
"Here it is a completely different feeling so I feel I need some dry time to learn the bike again.”