Eugene Laverty and Jonathan Rea secure podium places

Eugene Laverty
Eugene Laverty finished fourth in the World Superbike series

Eugene Laverty and Jonathan Rea both secured podium finishes at the final round of the World Superbike championship at Portimao in Portugal.

Rea started from pole position and was the early leader of race one but had to settle for third, with Laverty back in 19th after running off the track and then suffering mechanical problems.

Laverty was second and Rea third in race two after both had led.

Laverty finishes the series in fourth place, with Rea back in ninth.

Laverty ended level on 303 points with third-placed Max Biaggi but the Italian edged out the Yamaha rider by virtue of having taken more second-place finishes.

Carlos Checa, who had already been crowned series champion at the previous round, won Sunday's first race at Portimao, with Sylvain Guintoli second.

Rea was the early leader of race two before Laverty hit the front, but he was eventually overhauled by his team-mate Marco Melandri.

Checa ended on 505 points, with Melandri second with 395.

After the second race of the day Castrol Honda rider Rea said it was "nice to be able to challenge for a race win".

"The bike was working well in some places, but not so well in others," said Rea.

Laverty blamed a breaking error on his part for his failure to score any points in race one.

"It was disappointing to lose out to Max for third place in the series but a second-place finish was a good way to finish the season," commented the Toomebridge man.

Rea will continue with the Castrol Honda squad in 2012 while Laverty will ride an Aprilia.

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