Rea underwent surgery after a motocross crash before Phillip Island

Thursday, 1 March 2018 10:55 GMT

The Northern Irish rider reveals he suffered a hand injury in February via Instagram

The Yamaha Finance Australian Round did not bring the best start to the season for Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), as he secured a rare fifth position in Race 1 and second in the Race 2, beaten to the line by Marco Melandri ( Racing - Ducati) by only a few thousandths.

The triple World Champion acknowledged on Sunday that he didn’t have his usual feeling on board the ZX-10RR, but said: “I’m very happy, especially because of how I felt this week. I've been ill since Wednesday, so finishing fifth on Saturday and second today, and again on the podium, it is just damage limitation."

Rea was also battling through another issue which would have affected his form around the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, as the 31 year old was recovering from surgery on his right hand after an accident in motocross. The crash meant he was forced to undergo surgery on one finger of his right hand and required six stitches – but the tendons weren’t affected.

The reigning world champion and his team decided to focus on moving forward and didn’t mention the incident throughout the Round. Rea took to Instagram to thank the surgeon Jordi Font, who performed the operation at the Tres Torres Clinic in Barcelona on the Monday evening after the weekend. Surgery on his hand was carried out on 4th February, taking only one hour – three weeks before the opening race weekend of the season. However Rea was forced to spend ten days recovering in order for the wound to heal, and once he arrived at the circuit he required frequent visits to the Clinica Mobile throughout the week – from the test to the race.

Take a look at how Rea battled through the pain barrier in the Yamaha Finance Australian Round, with Superpole and both races all available on the WorldSBK VideoPass.