Reigning WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea is determined not to let Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes have it all his own way again at Donington Park this year and thinks the improved ZX-10RR should give him the tools to keep Sykes on a short lead.
Sykes has won the last eight races at Donington and goes into this weekend as clear favourite but Rea desperately wants to take the top step in front of an expected huge contingent of Northern Ireland spectators and increase his series lead over Ducati’s Chaz Davies.
“Our bike is in a much better place than it was last year. I’ve always kind of been in contention at Donington but Tom has had that little bit extra. He always seems to find something but I have to go there targeting race wins because I’ve come close the last couple of years and it would nice to do that in front of the home support - there are a lot of people travelling from Northern Ireland,” Rea told bikesportnews.com this morning.
“I do feel like I have got something for Tom this year. He rides well there and I am not sure what it is. It might be he rises to the occasion for a home race and the last sector really suits his style as it is stop and go but he is also quick on the other bits. It’s a combination really. Our bike is really strong as we’ve had good results the last couple of years, so we will have to wait and see.”
Rea will have Leon Haslam sort of on his side this weekend as the MCE BSB series leader is wildcarding on the Puccetti Kawasaki at Donington, which could prove useful for the two factory men.
“Leon sticking another Kawasaki in between us and Chaz would be all my dreams come true in one wildcard ride. With him, there are more factors in the mix but we will stick to our normal weekend plan.
Rea is not writing off a challenge from Davies, however, as he says the Welshman has been strong all year.
“It’s clear Ducati have a lot more acceleration that us off the first-gear corners, so the last sector at Donington is going to be more crucial. We don’t stop, completely change direction and accelerate, we carry some speed on to the straights so we won’t be a such a big disadvantage as Imola.”