Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea is chasing his maiden victory at Laguna Seca in the USA this weekend as the Ulster rider bids for a sensational 12th World Superbike victory this season.
The 28-year-old has stamped his authority on the series, winning 11 of the 16 races held so far and never finishing lower than second as he closes in on the world crown.
Rea is relatively inexperienced at the Californian circuit having missed out through injury when the famous American venue returned to the World Superbike calendar in 2013, but he did clinch a podium result in race two last year, taking third on the Pata Honda.
With a huge cushion of 133 points at the top of the standings over his Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes, Rea could be forgiven for taking his foot off the gas a little, but the Ballyclare man is determined to win as many races as possible this season as he continues to blaze a trail in the championship on the Ninja ZX-10R.
“I am ready to get back into it because three weeks off is quite a lot,” said Rea, who was a winner last time out in race two at Misano in June.
“I want to keep going, not just to carry the momentum but also because I enjoy my time at the track. I miss hanging out with my team and riding my bike because I am really enjoying being at the track this year.
“I wish we had a lot more race weekends than just 13. We have had an amazing start and have a good thing going. We want to continue that and achieve better things,” he added.
“I want to win as many races as possible in the year. From pre-season testing onwards our goal has been to win the championship and now, just after the halfway stage, we are in a good position.
“I have only ever raced at Laguna once because I was injured when the championship went there two years ago. With one year more experience there I hope we can do a good job.”
Race one on Sunday is scheduled for a 7.30pm start with the second race at approximately 10.30pm (BST).