Jonathan Rea has vowed to take the bull by the horns as he prepares for what could be his final MotoGP race until at least 2014 this weekend.
The 25-year-old Ulsterman will fill in once more for injured Repsol Honda star Casey Stoner at Aragon in Spain in the official HRC team on the RC213V.
Rea finished eighth on his MotoGP debut at Misano and had been linked to a full-time move to the series in 2013 with Gresini Honda.
However, he confirmed at the weekend that he will compete in the World Superbike Championship next season in a new-look Honda line-up, with fellow British rider Leon Haslam as his team-mate.
It now looks increasingly likely that Alvaro Bautista will remain a Gresini Honda employee next year following news of Suzuka 8-Hour winner Rea’s new deal.
The Northern Ireland man’s contract extension means Sunday could mark his last outing in a MotoGP race until the 2014 season, should he receive an offer to step up to the grand prix class.
Australian rider and current MotoGP champion Stoner hopes to return at the Japanese Grand Prix on October 14, but first Rea will have another opportunity to make his mark on the awesome factory Honda this weekend.
Rea participated in a private two-day test at Aragon prior to his race debut at Misano and admits he has “more confidence” ahead of the Spanish round.
“I am now in week four of my five back-to-back races including both Superbike and MotoGP but I am still really excited about this coming race,” said Rea.
“Having tested in Aragon on the RC213V a couple of weeks ago I am feeling more confident coming to this race than I was in Misano.
“Hopefully I will be able to pick up where I left off after the test as I was really starting to bond with the bike.
“Aragon has a really long straight which suits the power of the Honda and I am really looking forward to working with the Repsol Honda guys again and building on the experience I have gained to date.”
Rea completed a one-two for Northern Ireland on the podium behind Eugene Laverty in race two at Sunday’s penultimate round of the World Superbike Championship at Portimao in Portugal.