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Rea toasts new Honda deal with podium return

23 September 2012

Honda's Jonathan Rea celebrated his new contract extension for 2013 with a brilliant runner-up finish in the penultimate round of the World Superbike Championship at Portimao.

Rea made it a one-two for Northern Ireland on the podium after the race was won by fellow countryman Eugene Laverty, who claimed his maiden victory on the Aprilia RSV4.

Laverty had looked a certain winner for much of the race, but Rea mounted a thrilling challenge in the closing stages and closed right onto his rival's rear wheel on the sprint to the chequered flag.

Rea ultimately left himself too much work to do to overhaul jubilant race winner Laverty, but the 25-year-old was satisfied with the runner-up spot.

“I guess we've got to be satisfied with the results today after we didn't take advantage in Superpole yesterday,” he said.

“I felt really good in both races and in race one I was sitting pretty in second place feeling really comfortable when the red flags came out.

“Unfortunately, the track was drying for the second part, with zero standing water, but the bike was just too soft for the conditions, so I could only nurse it home,” who finished sixth in race one.

“Race two was pretty good and my team gave me a CBR that I was able to compete with at the front. I got held up a little early on and Laverty opened a bit of a gap.

“When I got clear track in front of me I was able to reel him back in bit by bit but we ran out of laps in the end.”


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