Rea fastest despite crash

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Jonathan Rea posted the fasted time during Friday’s practice at Snetterton in preparation for Sunday’s fifth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship – only to crash in the last few seconds of the session.

Rea’s time of 1:05.14 was just under half a second outside his HM Plant Honda team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari’s lap record of 1: 04.678 set in last year’s meeting.
Like several others, Rea was caught out by the increasingly high winds in the afternoon session that swept across the flat Norfolk landscape late in the day.

He lost the front-end turning into Sears corner but was unhurt and managed to ride the bike back to the pits, even though the HM Plant Honda looked like it had bounced upside down!  The fairing, tank, seat and sub-frame were considerably flattened by the impact.

Rea said: "The front just washed out and the crash seemed to go on for ever and ever, even though I went down at what felt like a relatively slow speed.”

Shane Byrne had topped the morning timesheets and was second quickest in the afternoon session on the Stobart Honda with a time of 1:05.61. Airwaves Ducati duo Leon Haslam and Gregorio Lavilla completed the top four fastest.

Other crashers in the afternoon session included three of the impressive BSB rookies this year: Eighth fastest Tom Sykes who also went down at Sears, Leon Camier (seventh quickest) who dumped it at Riches and Cal Crutchlow who crashed at Corams. Crutchlow was ninth quickest, 02s ahead of team-mate Chris Walker.

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin