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Rea aims to power further ahead on 200th start

By Paul Lindsay

The TT Circuit in Assen will host this weekend's third round of the 2017 World Superbike Championship, where double champion Jonathan Rea will look to extend his already strong series lead aboard his factory ZX-10RR Kawasaki on what will be his 200th WSB start.

A remarkable start to his latest title defence has seen Ulsterman Rea win five of the first six World Superbike races and finish second in the other.

He is a full 50 points ahead of nearest rival Chaz Davies (Ducati) in the championship chase after just two rounds, with his team-mate Tom Sykes third overall and only five points behind Davies at this early stage of the season.

Looking ahead to the action at the popular Dutch venue, where he has secured nine career victories to date, Rea said: "I'm really excited to be going to Assen as it's a circuit that typically I've been very strong at in the past.

"I really enjoy the layout and nature of the track and Sunday at Assen will also mark my 200th career World Superbike race start so that, in itself, is something I'm both proud and excited about."

The 4.542km long Circuit van Drenthe, located on the outskirts of the town of Assen itself, has been a happy hunting ground for Rea's KRT squad in recent times.

Rea has secured all four of the most recent Assen race victories since he joined Kawasaki in 2015.

And his nine career wins is the second highest number of race victories for a single rider at a single track in World Superbike history.

Meanwhile, Alastair Seeley and British MX star Martin Barr both passed their motorcycle tests yesterday.

Seeley's effort was being filmed by BBC Sport NI for a NW200 feature.

Belfast Telegraph

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