A high-speed crash at the 2022 Suzuka 8 Hours left Anglo-Italian motorcycle racer Gino Rea fighting for his life. During the incident, the rider broke his collarbone, rib, and two bones in his neck. He also suffered a bruised lung in the process, but the resulting brain trauma presented the most difficult medical hurdle.
Fortunately, Rea showed signs of recovering in the following 10 days, but that only started his journey back to full health. Eight months on, Rea returned to the track for the first time on April 1, 2023. The Honda rider took to Spain’s Cartagena Circuit on a stock CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP and relished the moment via Instagram.
"Knees down, elbows down, what an incredible day and what a beastly feeling it is to ride a real motorcycle!” Rea proclaimed. “I can't believe this all happened.”
Though Rea still has a way to go on his road to recovery, he fully intends to return to form within the Endurance World Championship (EWC).
“I want to be back at the same level in general as I was before, and for me, that means being back at the front and trying to win races again in EWC,” admitted Rea. “EWC is a championship I love and where I think I’ve found my feet. Throughout my career, I’m happy being in a championship if I’m competitive and I’ve been competitive in most of them, but in EWC I’ve found a bit of a home and I’ve found a home in Honda and that’s the situation I’d like to be back in.”
For now, the rider will support the TSR Honda team with a Parade lap at the 2023 24 hours of Le Mans on April 15, 2023. Number 5 will also express his gratitude to his supportive fans during the event.
“My most important message is ‘thank you’ to each and every person that has shown me support,” Rea concluded. “It really doesn’t go unnoticed. This goes to each and every fan who has contacted me and to other top professional riders that reached out.”