Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea will be out to consolidate his position in the top three of the World Superbike Championship this weekend as the series returns at Jerez in Spain.
The Ulster rider is currently third overall, 20 points behind Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli and 64 adrift of defending world champion Tom Sykes with six races remaining.
Rea headed into the long summer break with a fine podium on his debut at Laguna Seca in the USA in July and the 27-year-old is determined to maintain that form this weekend, when he will try a new specification engine in the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP.
“I missed the Jerez race last year through injury but I was able to test afterwards and I first rode at the circuit on a 125 Honda in 2003,” Rea said.
“I really enjoy riding it and we’ve done a lot of testing there. It seems a difficult track to get right but the CBR has developed a lot since we were last there so I’m looking forward to going back.
“The guys at the workshop have been busy since Laguna and we’ve got a new engine specification to try this weekend. We managed a podium last time out at a track that was new to me so we’ll be aiming to maintain that form,” he added.
“I’m excited to be riding again because it’s been an abnormally long summer break. I imagine there’ll be a long queue of riders desperate to get out first for free practice on Friday.”