Newly-crowned European Superstock 600 champion Gino Rea has just completed a hugely impressive test aboard Cal Crutchlow's title-winning Yamaha World Supersport R6 at Portimao.
The young Londoner’s best lap of 1:46.423 was just a second adrift of the pace set by race winner Eugene Laverty (Honda) at the same venue on Sunday - and would have seen him finishing tenth, beating twice WSS champ Andrew Pitt (Honda) in the process.
The opportunity to attend the factory-backed test was secured by Rea’s mentor Andrew Stone on Monday evening.
Rea was informed of the deal just moments after he arrived back in the UK but he grabbed a few hours sleep before heading back to the venue he’d just come from.
Also in attendance were ex-MotoGP riders James Ellison and Anthony West, along with Columbian Martin Cardenas.
“The bike was amazing to ride,” said Rea. “I think I could have posted a 1:45 lap, but my final test session was red-flagged and finished ten minutes early.
"The squad was great fun to work with and the Yamaha team bosses seemed happy with my performance, which is the
"I’ve matched the pace of Anthony West and got close to the speed of James Ellison, who had more track time than me, so I’ve got to be happy with that.”