Pata Honda rider Jonathan Rea is poised to celebrate a key milestone at Phillip Island in Australia as the Northern Ireland star competes in his 100th World Superbike race.
The 25-year-old will reach the magical 100-race mark in the series in the second race at the Australian circuit, which hosts the opening round of the 2013 championship on February 24.
Since making his debut in the championship in 2009, Rea has established himself as a leading light in the series, accumulating 10 race victories and 29 rostrum finishes.
And Rea is intent on boosting those statistics this year as he bids to launch a concerted challenge for the world title.
“I’m looking forward to Phillip Island, especially this year as race two will be my 100th World Superbike race.
“As far as wins go, I have a 10% strike rate in SBK which is OK, especially with the current level of the championship, but I would like to improve on it,” said Rea.
“I love winning races and I’ve enjoyed being in the World Superbike family for all my races so far.
“I’m with a great team and riding against great competitors, so I hope I can continue towards another 100 races after Phillip Island.”
Last year, Rea finished in fifth position overall in the World Superbike Championship, winning two races at Silverstone and Assen.
Rea and his Honda teammate, Leon Haslam, struggled with a new HRC electronics system on their Fireblades at the recent Jerez test and both are striving to iron out any teething issues during the final shakedown at Phillip Island prior to the opening round of the world championship there on February 24.