Jonathan Rea fired up for return to happy hunting ground at Misano

World Superbike Championship leader Jonathan Rea is looking forward to the return of the Misano round in Italy this weekend after the race was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 10:43 am

Rea has fond memories of the Marco Simoncelli circuit, where he won his maiden WSBK race in 2009.

The six-time champion has chalked up eight victories at Misano in total, achieving seven of those wins since he made the switch to the Kawasaki Racing Team in 2015. Incredibly, he has now won a record 103 WSBK races following his latest triumph last month in Portugal.

Rea has made a strong start to the 2021 championship, winning four of the six races at the opening two rounds at Motorland Aragon and Estoril to lead the standings by 35 points from Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu, with Ducati’s Scott Redding a further three points back in third.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Jonathan Rea leads the World Superbike Championship by 35 points after the first two rounds.

The 34-year-old Ulsterman is exactly where he wants to be going into round three this weekend and Rea will be quietly confident of increasing his advantage at the top even further, at a circuit where he has enjoyed so much success in the past.

“I am excited to go to Misano especially after we missed the race there last year,” Rea said.

“It is a track that I really enjoy riding at; both for the circuit itself and the Italian hospitality.

“The area is incredible and I always enjoy spending time there with my family, by the beach and the sea. The food, the fans, it has got absolutely everything, especially this weekend as we got some fans back trackside which is going to make it even more special.”

Assessing his performance after the opening rounds in Spain and Portugal, Rea said the work undertaken by his team on tyre management in hot temperatures is paying dividends.

“The first few races have been good,” said Rea.

“We have been able to change the characteristics of our Ninja ZX-10RR at Estoril and it really improved the size of the ‘window’ and we will continue to try these ideas.

“We are right into the thick of the summer months now and I think all the work we have been doing last season and during the off-season, focusing on the hot temperatures and being easy on the tyre, is really coming into its own.

“Misano is a quite flat track and with it being resurfaced a few years ago it gave me a strange feeling when we tested there last year. But, we were still able to be fast. I’m looking forward to the challenge this weekend and seeing all our great fans back trackside again.”

Free practice commences from 09:30 BST on Friday, with the first race scheduled for 13:00 BST on Saturday. The Superpole race on Sunday is at 10:00 BST with race two at 13:00 BST.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Irish and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. To subscribe, click here.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Thank you,

Alistair Bushe