World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea will be aiming to break his Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes’ stranglehold on the British round of the championship this weekend at Donington Park.
Sykes and the Ninja ZX-10R have proven virtually unbeatable at the Yorkshireman’s home circuit, where he has clinched victory in the last six races to underline his dominance at Donington.
Ulsterman Rea, though, will be coming out with all guns blazing as the 29-year-old bids put on a show for his legions of fans who will make the short trip from Northern Ireland to cheer him on this weekend.
Rea, who holds a lead of 42 points over Welshman Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Ducati) heading into the seventh round of the championship, said: “Donington is a track that I really enjoy. Watching the races back from last year it seems that the bike was really competitive for both Tom and myself, and that is positive.
“So far this season we have demonstrated the competitive nature of the new model already on some different circuit layouts, so it is clear that the package is strong.
“At Donington this weekend we will be aiming to improve the balance of the Ninja ZX-10R and build into two strong races. The British weather is always a huge factor,” added Rea, who won race two at Donington in 2012.
“I hope for some consistent weather but either way I am excited to go back to the UK. I have got lots of fans coming from Northern Ireland so Castle Donington is going to feel like Belfast.
“I am really excited about that and trying to do a good job for Kawasaki and all my fans that are making the journey.”
Rea has demonstrated the same unflinching consistency that encapsulated his all-conquering run to his maiden world title in 2015, already chalking up five wins and finishing on the podium at least in every race.
The Ballyclare man has thrived in the Kawasaki team following his switch from Honda in 2015 and the manufacturer moved swiftly to secure his services for a further two years at least, with the deal officially announced earlier this month at Sepang in Malaysia.