Belfast Telegraph

Rea set to decide which road to take in quest for title glory

By Paul Lindsay

After an extended summer break the World Superbike Championship kicks back into action this weekend at Jerez in Spain, but the news everyone at home is waiting for concerns Northern Ireland SBK stars Jonathan Rea and Eugene Laverty.

Pata Honda-mounted Rea currently holds third place in the championship standings and is on course for his best ever finish to an SBK season, but with only three rounds and six races remaining all the talk is of where we will see the Ballyclare exile racing next season.

Many in the know can't see Rea leaving his beloved Honda, with a potential MotoGP move yet to be ruled out, but there are strong whispers in both the paddock and the press that Rea could possibly join current world champion Tom Sykes at Kawasaki next term.

Former rival Cal Crutchlow, who will leave the factory Ducati MotoGP team at the end of the season to join Lucio Cecchinello's LCR Honda team, has openly stated that he would like Rea as a team-mate in 2015. But the odds are stacked heavily in favour of Aussie Moto3 star Jack Miller making the quantum leap to the premier class.

I'd like to see Rea stay in SBK on competitive machinery and fulfill his world-class potential; and what a mouth-watering prospect it would be to see Rea and Sykes go head-to-head for the title on world championship winning Kawasaki machinery.

This weekend Rea will have a new engine specification on his Pata Honda as he looks to add to his four wins this season.

Fellow Ulsterman Eugene Laverty will also be looking for better fortunes at Jerez aboard the Voltcom Suzuki.

The Monaco-based Toomebridge man is also expected to announce his plans for 2015 in the coming weeks, with a move to Pramac Ducati in MotoGP the most likely option.

Belfast Telegraph

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