Newly crowned 2017 WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea is ready to take on the Circuito de Jerez for the Spanish Round, at a circuit in which he has never won around.
Since landing back on British soil following the Pirelli French Round, the 30 year old has been spending his time celebrating with his thousands of fans and receiving congratulations from all over the world, but now recognises he has a job to do in Spain. Whilst on the other side of the garage, Tom Sykes is ready for battle as he looks at keeping hold of second position in the championship.
2016 was the first year Rea was able to stand on the podium at the track, as he took a third and second position finish around the 4.4km circuit. But this season he is ready to take on the battle and try to take his debut victory, noting how the new surface could have an impact on race pace.
If he is to finish on the podium this season, he can equal Carl Fogarty’s record of 109 podiums in WorldSBK – a feat which could see him become the most successful British podium finisher.
After a crazy few weeks, Rea tries to sum up his feelings ahead of Round 12: “It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks after Magny Cours and winning my third World Championship. Feelings are finally starting to sink in. I'm very much looking forward to getting back to business and although I have never won a WorldSBK race in Jerez, I'm fired up for the challenge."
The circuit has been resurfaced recently so Friday will be very important to understand our base setup. The latest feelings with the ZX-10RR have been great so I expect a strong weekend, where I'm expecting a lot of travelling support from Northern Ireland.”
Still riding injured, British rider Sykes has a big ask ahead of him this weekend as he is coming head to head to battle with Chaz Davies for the runner up spot in the championship. Holding the record for the most podium finishes around Circuito de Jerez, Sykes has taken six trophies home with him from the circuit and has consistently finished races in the top five.
The 32 year old is another rider with a milestone in sight, for Sykes he could be set to achieving his 100th podium finish and 99th for Kawasaki – a podium finish in both could see him take his 100th podium with the Japanese manufacturer.
“We still have things to do before the end of the season,” begins Sykes. “And I am looking forward to riding again at Jerez."
"We have won there before and done a lot of testing there. I am definitely looking forward to getting on the bike again, even though I am not 100% yet with my hand injury. In my eyes, I am considerably better than I was at Magny Cours, which gives me extra confidence and motivation."
"In the approach to Jerez we need to do what we did in France again because I was pleasantly surprised in our pace there, it worked out nicely for me."
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