Gino Rea has expressed his delight at scoring a maiden World Supersport podium finish on home soil at Silverstone, describing it as a 'dream come true'.
The reigning Superstock 600 champion has shown a rapid rate of improvement this season, the 20-year-old progressing from racing in and around the top ten to displaying his podium-winning credentials on the Intermoto Honda from Misano onwards.
Fresh from a career-best fourth place finish at Brno, Rea sprinted out of the blocks at Silverstone to push Eugene Laverty hard for the lead during the early stages.
Although he would gradually fade as the race wore on, he was still within touching distance of the leaders as he crossed the line in a tremendous third place.
The ideal venue to produce his breakthrough result, Rea was thrilled to be celebrating a rostrum in his debut season.
'I'm so happy to be up here on the podium,” he said. “To get my first podium in my debut year at a home circuit is one of my dreams come true. Before the season started, no one would have thought we would be battling for the top ten positions, let alone getting a podium.
“We have come on strong in the last few races, finding a sweet spot in the chassis and improving electronics, yet we still have work to do. I felt good riding behind Eugene for half of the race, there were places where I could really close up on him but he had a bit more grip than me. As soon as my tyre started going off it exaggerated the grip problem and I couldn't stay with him.
“We need to carry on improving the electronics and thinking about tyre management as we need to be stronger at the end of the race. It was amazing riding in front of a home crowd and I hope I gave them something exciting to watch, at least for the first half of the race.”