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Jonathan Rea gets Repsol Honda chance

26 August 2012

World Superbike star Jonathan Rea will test for the Repsol Honda team at Brno on Monday, then again at Aragon, with a view to replacing injured MotoGP champion Casey Stoner.

Stoner returned to Australia on the eve of this weekend's Czech Republic Grand Prix for ankle surgery and is expected to also miss at least the next two rounds.

Those events, at Misano (September 14-16) and Aragon (28-30), do not clash with Rea's WSBK commitments for Ten Kate Honda.

With the 2012 WSBK crown also out of reach for fifth in the standings Rea, who has never been shy to state his MotoGP ambitions, the Ulsterman is a good fit to stand-in for the soon-to-retire Stoner.

A HRC statement confirmed: “Jonathan Rea, Ten Kate Honda rider in WSBK, will join the Repsol Honda team for tomorrow's test in Brno, and also for the two 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.”

25-year-old Rea - Honda's top World Superbike rider since 2009, winning ten races - previously tested an 800cc Honda in a private outing at Sepang in December of 2010.

Rea was targeted to make his MotoGP race debut for Team Roberts at Donington Park back in 2007, but a packed schedule - BSB and the Suzuka 8 Hours - meant it was called off.

While Rea now looks set to finally make his grand prix debut, his Honda race options for 2013 would be limited to Gresini, the only RCV team yet to announce its rider.

Rea, who was part of Honda's winning Suzuka 8 Hours team earlier this year, took a seventh place finish in Sunday's inaugural Moscow WSBK round.


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