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Rea leaving no stone unturned in bid to end Ducati's dominance at Aragon


Grand plans: Jonathan Rea is targeting Spanish successes

Grand plans: Jonathan Rea is targeting Spanish successes

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Grand plans: Jonathan Rea is targeting Spanish successes

Battle is set to re-commence with today's free practice ahead of the fourth round of the World Superbike Championship at Motorland Aragon.

Jonathan Rea is leading the series by four points from Scott Redding following a superb hat-trick during the last round at Portimao.

However, Rea - chasing his sixth consecutive world championship - appears to have his work cut out, as the last four race wins at the Spanish track have all gone to the Italian Ducati team, now led by Redding.

A recent test at Aragon saw Rea and his Kawasaki team-mate Alex Lowes set a strong pace, and since 33-year-old Rea joined the team in 2015, he has scored a podium finish in every Aragon race he has contested.

"We have done a lot of riding at Aragon recently, so I feel really good on the bike," said Rea. "The test was an opportunity to ride the circuit in hot summer conditions - something we have not done in recent years - and, as we have back to back meetings here at Aragon, we need to be prepared to get a set-up that is user friendly, fast and consistent from Friday morning. The target as always will be to win races."

Eugene Laverty will be looking for a change of fortune on the factory BMW this weekend after suffering two devastating crashes at Portimao.

He is, however, on the look-out for a job for next season after BMW Motorrad team boss Shaun Muir announced that Tom Sykes would be retained for 2021 alongside new signing Michael van der Mark, leaving the Toomebridge man out in the cold having had just 12 races on the BMW due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

A spokesperson for Laverty said: "There are a few things in the pipeline which he has to keep tight-lipped about for the moment, but when one door closes usually a better one opens."

If speculation is to be believed, Laverty could remain on board German machinery in a satellite squad, with a possible team moving up from World Supersport or in a completely new set-up with another manufacturer.

Aghadowey rider Eunan McGlinchey enters the fiercely competitive Supersport arena for the third time this season, hoping to make it through the qualifying stages for the two races this weekend on his Team #109 Kawasaki.

With the Cookstown 100 now on the horizon, it would appear that prolific winner at the Co Tyrone Orritor Circuit Derek Sheils will be a non-starter at the meeting. The Dublin rider tweeted yesterday: "After placing my entry unfortunately I won't be on the grid as my entry was not paid by the closing date and was cancelled with no notification to me after competing for 13 straight years at the event."

Also a non-starter will be last year's three-time winner Derek McGee.

Belfast Telegraph