Rea is out to strengthen grip on back-to-back crowns
Reigning World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea will be looking for a repeat of his double victory from 12 months ago when the World Championship takes in round 11 at Magny Cours in France this weekend.
With just three rounds and six races remaining this season, Rea and his Kawasaki Racing Team will be aiming to, at the very least, maintain their 47-point advantage in France as the Ulsterman looks to meet his goal of wrapping up a second consecutive World Superbike title at Jerez's penultimate round in two weeks' time.
After a heavy crash at the Lausitzring in race one last time out in Germany, Rea bounced back with a convincing race two win in atrocious conditions - his ninth of the season - and he is intending to build on that in France.
"A wet race win in Germany was a nice way to finish the weekend last time out, and I have slept really well this week," said the Isle of Man-based Rea. "I am looking forward to Magny Cours because I have had a good history there and I enjoy riding the circuit.
"We are now in that crucial time of the season. We have a points advantage, but not enough to be comfortable, so we still have to go out and score heavily in France."
With just six races remaining this season, the hunt for the title is pretty much between Rea and his factory Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes, who last won the trophy in 2013.
Ducati-mounted Chaz Davies, currently third in the championship standings, is still mathematically in the hunt. But currently 98 points behind Rea, it would take a minor miracle to see the Welshman land the title.
Two wins in France would see Rea not only close in on his second title, but also increase his career win tally in the Superbike series to 40 victories from 85 podiums, leaving him fourth in the all-time winners' list.