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.