Rea confident of boosting world bid on favourite track
Ballyclare's Jonathan Rea is determined to reignite his World Superbike Championship title aspirations this weekend at Portimao in Portugal.
Now based in the Isle of Man, the Pata Honda rider will be aiming to add to his seven career podiums at the Algarve circuit, as he looks to rise from fourth in the standings.
"I'm really excited to be heading to a circuit where I really enjoy riding the Pata Honda," said Rea, who also complimented the Portuguese circuit by adding: "Portimao is one of the most exhilarating tracks on the World Superbike calendar.
"It's close by one of the main tourist areas in the Algarve and I have a lot of friends coming out for the weekend, so I'm even more excited about this round."
Rea, who posted a third place in race two last season at Portimao, is fourth in the SBK points standings but the 27-year-old is just 13 points adrift of second position, and is determined to rediscover the levels of performance that have taken him and his Pata Honda to three wins thus far in 2014.
Recounting a couple of troublesome rounds, Rea explained: "The last few races have thrown up a few problems in managing the electronics on the bike, especially engine braking, so Portimao gives us an opportunity to go back to basics."
Fellow Northern Ireland rider Eugene Laverty is also in World Superbike action this weekend with his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki squad, but carries a foot injury into round eight.
"In one respect I'm excited about Portimao because I believe that we are capable of fighting for the win," said Laverty.
However, I re-injured my foot during race one at Misano, so I'm not quite 100% fit at the moment," lamented the Monaco-based Toomebridge man.