Jonathan Rea says his debut on Casey Stoner’s factory Honda RC213V machine in Misano this weekend will be a ‘big dream come true.”
Rea starts his stint as reigning world champion Stoner’s injury stand-in in Misano this weekend after two encouraging test sessions on the Repsol-backed RC213V machine in Brno and Motorland Aragon.
Australian Stoner is ruled out after he suffered a serious right ankle injury in a high speed qualifying crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month.
The 26-year-old is currently recovering at home in Australia in a bid to get fit in time to return for one final appearance in front of his home crowd at Phillip Island at the end of next month.
Ten Kate Honda World Superbike rider Rea will replace Stoner for Misano and the Motorland Aragon races and in anticipation of his MotoGP debut he said: “For me its a big dream come true just to race in MotoGP.
"It's been very unfortunate for Casey to sustain such an injury when he was having a very strong season and my best wishes go to him while he recovers. Now, my job is to replace him and I will try to do the best I can.
"I love Misano, I've already raced there this year and I finished second, it's also where I had my first ever Superbike win in 2009 and I enjoy the circuit and the Italian fans, they are always very enthusiastic.
"I take this opportunity like a great gift from Honda. In the few days I've spent with the team I have felt very good, they understand it will take me some time to push with this bike but I'm learning every time I get on it.
"It's been great to have these three days testing on the bike to prepare myself and for sure Friday morning will be less chaotic.
"We already have the riding position set, the base setup is set and I understand the electronics a little more. I know it's going to be busy, but I'm ready".