WSBK: Jonathan Rea confident of turning screw on title rivals at Assen

Kawasaki World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea
Kawasaki World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea

Jonathan Rea is confident of maintaining his whirlwind start to the 2015 World Superbike Championship this weekend at the legendary Assen circuit in the Netherlands, where the Ulster rider boasts a sensational record.

The Kawasaki star extended his title lead to 26 points over Red Devils Aprilia rival Leon Haslam last weekend at Aragon in Spain, where Rea clinched a victory and runner-up finish on the Ninja ZX-10R.

He has made a dream start to his career with Kawasaki, winning four of the six races held so far and twice finishing as the runner-up to stake his claim as the early favourite for world championship glory.

Rea certainly won’t be resting on his laurels but the omens for the 28-year-old at Assen are very much in his favour, where the Larne man has sprayed the victory champagne on five occasions since his love affair with ‘The Cathedral’ ignited with a brilliant double in 2010.

He went on to scale the top step at Assen in 2011 and 2012 and sealed a runner-up finish in 2013 before returning to winning ways last season, where Rea won race two after finishing third in the opener.

It is clear Rea has a golden opportunity to further tighten his grip at the top of the world standings on Sunday and the Northern Ireland man is optimistic he can put more pressure on his championship rivals this weekend.

“I am really excited about Assen because it is a circuit I really enjoy and I have had some good success at in the past.

“This year with a new team and a new bike we need to see how we perform on Friday but Assen is somewhere I think we can try and win again. There is always close racing there, which I am looking forward to.

“It is cool to go there each year because there are always a lot of British fans that make the trip over to watch the race. I have some family coming as well,” added Rea, who has now won 19 World Superbike races following his most recent triumph at Aragon last Sunday.

“Aside from Phillip Island this is going to be the race that most feels a little bit like home because I have spent so much time there in the past.”