Belfast Telegraph

Brno win is pet project for World Superbike ace Rea

By Paul Lindsay

Jonathan Rea will be looking to rediscover the form that brought him his first ever world championship win at the Brno circuit, in the Czech Republic back in 2008, when the World Superbike circus rolls into town this weekend.

Now a Manx resident, Rea started the year as many pundits’ favourite to the lift the World Superbike crown, but the County Antrim youngster has seen his hopes all but evaporate after disastrous rounds at Salt Lake City in The States, and more recently at Misano — where both he, and his temperamental Hannspree Ten Kate Honda, struggled into the lower end of the points’ table.

Rea like the majority of the his racing peers thrives on confidence, and having completed a recent two-day test at Imola, where he was right back at the sharp end, ending the test fourth quickest, the 23-year-old is looking to re-ignite his afterburners, commencing this weekend in the Czech Republic.

Rea said: “After the disaster we had at Misano, I'm really looking forward to turning over a new page at Brno this weekend.

“I really enjoy the circuit and took my first World Supersport win there a couple of years back, even naming my dog after the circuit!

“Hopefully my team will be able to take the information we got from Misano and Imola and translate that into a strong package, that will allow us to challenge at the front again.

“We worked a little more outside the box at Imola to learn more about the bike and tried some fairly radical things.

“It gave us a small step forward but, at this level and in this environment, it's really difficult to find big chunks of time.

“I'm happy that the team has been changed around slightly to help us maintain our challenge and it'll be good if we can start at Brno with the same feeling we finished with at Imola last week.”

Unlike Rea, fellow Ulsterman Eugene Laverty is bang in the middle of a purple patch.

He’s leading the World Supersport class after a run of four wins in the last five races.

The Toomebridge lad has dropped only five points out of a possible 125 in the aforementioned meetings, and his team boss at Parkalgar Honda, Simon Buckmaster, is confident Eugene can make it championship win number six tomorrow.

Buckmaster explained: “Brno was not a great race for us last year but we have an improved bike package now, so I fully expect Eugene to challenge for another win.”

He added: “There are now only five rounds left and I know we have the rider, the bike and team to go all the way.”

Belfast Telegraph

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