Jonathan Rea will surpass Carl Fogarty’s record of 59 World Superbike victories with another win this weekend at his home round of the championship at Donington Park.
The three-time champion did the double at Imola in Italy earlier this month to draw level with the Blackburn Bullet’s all-time benchmark, opening a lead of 47 points over Ducati’s Chaz Davies going into round six of the series.
Rea, who is also on course to equal Fogarty’s record of four world crowns, was a winner at Donington in 2017, when he was fortunate to escape injury in race one after a rear tyre issue caused him to crash at the fast Craner Curves section of the course.
The 31-year-old has won five races on the Ninja ZX-10RR so far this season and Rea would love nothing more than to set a new record of Superbike victories in front of his home supporters, with a large number of Northern Ireland fans expected to make the short trip over to Donington this weekend.
Rea, who was a special guest at the North West 200 last Saturday, said: “I’m looking forward to racing at Donington this weekend as it’s the closest thing I have to a home round feeling.
“It’s nice to arrive there on the back of a strong weekend in Imola and we will work hard together to make sure we can fight for victory again.
“Of course, Donington is a different challenge, with its undulating layout and a mix of fast flowing sectors and stop and go sectors. This always makes it difficult to set up the perfect bike, but we will try to find a compromise,” he added.
“This weekend marks the first opportunity I have to surpass Carl Fogarty’s all time World Superbike win record. I will have a lot of travelling support so let’s hope that’s enough to get it done.”
Race one on Saturday is scheduled for 13:15 BST with the second race on Sunday at 13:00 BST.
Rea was fastest in a rain-soaked opening free practice session on Friday.
Meanwhile, Rea’s autobiography will be published this autumn, with HarperCollins Publishers acquiring world rights to his memoir.
The release date is set for October and the book will chart the life and career of the Ulster rider, who was seemingly destined for the motorbike racing world.
His grandfather was the first sponsor of Joey Dunlop and his father was a former Isle of Man TT winner. Rea has succeeded in Superbikes after several potential career-ending scrapes including smashing his femur in a horrific crash, aged 17, when doctors told him he would never race again. Rea said: “I am really looking forward to working with HarperCollins. The team has been very supportive of me and my co-author, and long-time friend, Steve Booth.
“It’s only now when I recall the last few decades with him I realise the incredibly special journey I am on and those who’ve been part it. It hasn’t all been plain sailing though and there have been a lot of life lessons learned along the way.
“This book will be very open and honest about how I’ve been able to make my dreams and ambitions become a reality.”
Rea’s book can be pre-ordered via Amazon.