Jonathan Rea aiming to ‘start strong’ in World Superbike opener

Jonathan Rea says he is ‘super excited’ to kick-start his bid to win the World Superbike Championship for a seventh consecutive season this weekend in Spain.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 7:43 am

The Kawasaki rider will begin the defence of his title at Motorland Aragon as the series commences in Europe following the cancellation of the traditional curtain-raiser at Phillip Island in Australia.

Rea has been in impressive form on the new ZX-10RR Superbike, which features engine, chassis and aerodynamic enhancements, and dipped under the pole lap record at Aragon in his final pre-season test to put down a marker going into round one.

“I am super-excited to go racing again because it feels like last season was so long ago,” said the 34-year-old.

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Jonathan Rea has been in impressive form on the new Kawasaki during testing.

“We have had some really good testing recently, where I have felt good with the bike and it is going to be so nice to get on track with everybody else to understand where we are.

“Aragon is a track we have very happy memories of after last year,” added Rea, who won three times at the Spanish track in 2020, which hosted two of the six championship rounds.

“We were able to be strong in the Motorland weekend and the following Teruel round. The target is to start this year strong and try to build some momentum into the season.”

The championship starts with back-to-back weekends, with Estoril in Portugal hosting the second round from May 28-30, but Rea has welcomed the challenge as he bids to hit the ground running.

“It is going to be a tough couple of weeks in succession with two back-to-back rounds, but kick-starting the racing into action at Aragon is great because we just finished testing there,” he said.

“I have a good feeling with the bike – the new Ninja ZX-10RR is definitely a step forward from last year. I am super-excited about it and I feel ready.”

Rea could also reach a major milestone this weekend, when one more win would secure his 100th WSBK victory.

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