Belfast Telegraph

Jonathan Rea optimistic ahead of return to happy hunting ground

By Paul Lindsay

Ballyclare World Superbike star Jonathan Rea will be gunning for his second podium of the season and the 35th of his WSB career, this coming weekend at Assen, as the 2014 series heads for round three in the Netherlands.

The Pata Honda rider has taken four World Superbike victories at Assen since 2010, together with a further two podium finishes.

The 27-year-old has been on the rostrum at least once in each of the last four seasons, so there is obvious cause for optimism, as he explained before leaving his base in the Isle of Man.

"I'm really looking forward to Assen this weekend as it's a circuit I really enjoy riding," said Rea.

"There are a lot of passing places and there's usually a fast group at the front, which I hope to be part of.

"We've enjoyed a good solid start to the season with top five finishes and a podium at Aragon, so we'll attempt to carry the momentum we have gained so far into the Assen weekend."

Toomebridge's Eugene Laverty also enjoyed success at Assen just 12 months ago when riding for Aprilia, but now with Voltcom Crescent Suzuki, the Ulsterman – who won the opening race of the year in Australia – is confident of further success.

"Assen is a fantastic track and very enjoyable to ride," said Laverty. "My aim is to climb back onto that rostrum again as soon as possible and I feel optimistic.

"We're working hard to improve our package and we certainly gained more knowledge about the GSX-R at the previous round."

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