Belfast Telegraph

Jonathan Rea eager to secure title for Kawasaki under Losail lights

 

Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea

By Roy Harris

The final round of the 2019 World Superbike Championship takes place today, tomorrow and Saturday in the unique desert setting under floodlights around the Losail Circuit in Qatar.

Although already crowned the record five-time world champion, Jonathan Rea will not be letting his competitive edge slip as looks to help land Kawasaki the 2019 Manufacturers Award.

The 32-year-old said: "I can't believe it's the end of another season and, even though we were able to achieve the target we set at the beginning of the year, there is still a lot to play for this weekend.

"It's something really special (racing under floodlights), because you feel at one with the bike as there are no external distractions in your line of sight."

After going 2-1-1 in his three races at the recent meeting in Argentina, Rea is looking for more of the same in the Qatar desert.

"I felt really competitive with the bike in Argentina and we really worked well as a team. The target as always will be to go out and win races. It has been a real dream season to date."

Rea will be trying to add to his 14 wins this season, but faces competition from rivals Alvaro Bautista, Chaz Davies and Independent Riders champion Toprak Razgatlioglu.

Eugene Laverty has his final rides for Team Go Eleven Ducati before moving to the factory BMW squad for 2020 and the Toomebridge man will be looking to at least replicate his finish in the second race in Argentina, where he finished a fine seventh.

Elsewhere, the 42nd Sunflower Trophy meeting at Bishopscourt gets underway tomorrow morning with five races, including the first Superbike later in the afternoon.

The promoting Hillsborough Club have secured a stellar line up of competitors that includes last years winner Richard Cooper, circuit lap record holder Christian Iddon, Harry Truelove and Richard Kerr, along with local USBK riders including champion Carl Phillips, Ali Kirk, Nico Mawhinney, Gerard Kinghan, Charles Stuart, Jeremy McWilliams and Eugene McGlinchey.

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