Jonathan Rea To Test Repsol Honda, Replace Casey Stoner During Absence

Jonathan Rea has been drafted in to replace Casey Stoner during the Australian's absence due to the ankle injury he suffered at Indianapolis. The Ulsterman is to test the factory Honda RC213V at Brno during the official MotoGP test on Monday, and then again at Aragon in just over a week's time. 

The decision to draft in Rea was made as a reward for his loyalty to Honda throughout the years. Rea has stuck with Honda in WSBK, and achieving strong results on a CBR1000RR that is starting to get a little long in the tooth. Rea winning the Suzuka 8 hours endurance race earlier this year was also greatly appreciated by HRC top management.

How many races Rea will get on the bike is still uncertain. Casey Stoner has now arrived in Australia, and is expected to have surgery on Wednesday. He is almost certain to be forced to miss Misano, and the following race at Aragon is also uncertain. None of the remaining rounds on the MotoGP calendar clash with World Superbikes, so though Rea would find himself with a full schedule, it would be possible for Rea to substitute for Stoner for the rest of the year, if necessary.

Below is the official press release from Honda, and a video statement from Rea courtesy of the Honda World Superbike team:

Jonathan Rea to test for Repsol Honda Team

Jonathan Rea, Ten Kate Honda rider in WSBK, will join the Repsol Honda team for tomorrow's test in Brno, and also for the 2 day test in Aragon that will take place on the 4th and 5th of September.

In case, as doctors anticipate, Casey Stoner is not able to re-join the Repsol Honda Team in time, then Jonathan will replace him in Misano and Aragon.

Honda Racing Corporation would like to thank Honda Europe, Ten Kate Team and all their sponsors for their cooperation under the circumstances.

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Nice move from HRC. Jonathan Rea has been loyal to Honda for a long time now and he has deserved this opportunity.

Wasn't #65 retired with Loris Capirossi. Seems ridiculous that another number has to be selected for Rea.

I hope not it wasn't. I agree it would be ridiculous for Rea to have to choose another number. Capirossi hasn't accomplished anything that would validate his number being retired.

What number do you think S. Bradl had? :) #65 that's why he now has a 6 (in which a 5 is hidden). He used to have a sponsor in Moto2, WindReich (-6.5%), but doesnt have it anymore.

Seems strange to me that Rea could run #58 if he wanted to but not #65. One number should have been retired last year but Capirossi's wasn't it.

I will definitely be interested to see what a top (non-ex-GP) WSBK rider can do on a good ride in MotoGP. Honestly with that bike he should be top 5. That's what I would expect. 6-7 is acceptable, but 8th or lower shouldn't happen.

Tyres, tyres tyres.

How often has it been said by various riders that the hardest thing of all is to get used to the tyres? You don't just hop on it and ride fast after a bit of practice just because its a Moto GP prototype. A superbike is completely different according to numerous riders, crew chiefs etc.

JR will get very little practice, so I think he does well to get it round without binning it.