Jonathan Rea has admitted he was ‘annoyed’ not to get another MotoGP opportunity after a brief two-race stint with the Repsol Honda team during the 2012 championship.

At the time Rea competed with Honda in the WorldSBK Championship and was called up to the factory HRC outfit to start races at Misano and Motorland Aragon, deputising for the injured Casey Stoner.

Despite minimal testing on the RC213V and having to jump back on his Honda CBR1000RR for a WorldSBK round in between the two MotoGP events, Rea picked up two solid top ten results with an eighth and seventh place finish.

At the time Rea’s efforts were viewed as somewhat disappointing, the Ulsterman finishing behind the satellite Hondas of Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl at Misano.

However, the results have been viewed more favourably in retrospect with many pointing out that he reduced the race-winning margin from 43secs to 32secs in just one round.

However, the two races would prove to be Rea’s sole outings on a MotoGP bike with no further chances occurring before he switched to Kawasaki in WorldSBK for the 2015 season. Since then he has gone on to clinch five consecutive WorldSBK titles.

Though Rea concedes the lack of opportunities frustrated him at the time, he says the outcome of becoming a multiple world champion – and statistically the most successful WorldSBK rider of all time – with Kawasaki makes up for it.

“The way things went I am very happy, because I am five-times world champion,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “In my opinion, in MotoGP to become champions you have to grow with a certain attitude, as if to say, going from 125 to 300, or Moto3 and Moto2.

“At the time I was a bit annoyed because I was unable to take the opportunity and never had the opportunity again. I have to live with this thing, but I'm also happy because when the door was closed in MotoGP and Honda, and I looked for new challenges by finding Kawasaki that was going strong in Superbike at the time: since I got used to this bike, I won titles from 2015 onwards.

“In my opinion everything happens for a reason and I'm lucky to have found not only a great bike, but also a fantastic group of people; sometimes in racing you don't need opportunities in some championships and with some means, you need everything.

“Here I have everything: great bike, the support of the house, I am going strong, the people around me are incredible humanly speaking, but also intelligent. Finding such a group in races is not easy, so I feel lucky."

 

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