Jonathan Rea extends Honda Superbike contract for 2012

Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea is back in action this weekend at the Nurburgring in Germany

Jonathan Rea has ended speculation about a possible switch to MotoGP for 2012 by re-signing for the Castrol Honda team for next year's World Superbike Championship.

Rea signed a new contract with the Honda team on Friday.

The Northern Irishman's 2011 season has been wrecked by injury.

However Rea, 24, is optimistic that he will have a more competitive bike for 2012 thanks to the new model Honda Fireblade machine.

Rea is returning to World Superbike action this weekend at the Nurburgring after over two months out with a fractured wrist.

He was eighth in Saturday's final qualifying session - sixth spots behind second placed compatriot Eugene Laverty.

Championship leader Carlos Checa set a new lap record on his way to taking pole position.

The Spaniard, who leads Max Biaggi by 62 points after his double win at Silverstone at the end of July, took his fifth pole of the season by four tenths of a second from Laverty, who sits fourth in the riders' standings.

Rea has dropped four places in the standings to 12th during his absence from the series.