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WorldSBK Estoril: Rea out to ‘show more strength’

Kawasaki Racing’s Jonathan Rea is confident of another strong showing as WorldSBK arrives in Portugal this weekend.

Just one DNF, in the final race at Assen last time out, spoils the six-time champion’s impressive podium form as 2022 kicks off. Rea having claimed either first or second in every race bar the dramatic conclusion to the Dutch TT within saw him crash out in a tangle with Pata Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatliolgu.

With two victories and a further podium already under his belt at the 4.2km Estoril Circuit from last year’s visit, the Northern Irishman is looking for more of the same as the championship gears up for round three.


“It has been nice to have a little break but honestly after the first week of being away from the circuit I prefer to be back again,” Rea admitted ahead of travelling to round three. “It is always nice when the feeling with the bike is good to keep the momentum going, but it was also nice to get some time at home, crack on with my training and also visit the North West 200 last weekend. It was cool to see such a big event in Northern Ireland and the support from motorcyclists for what I am doing is incredible, even at a pure road race event.

“Now I am pretty excited to go to Estoril. It is a very cool circuit and I enjoy the layout. I have had really good memories from there, especially in 2020. Winning my sixth WorldSBK title there was an incredible feeling.

“To be honest, that weekend I really didn’t ride so good as we had some difficulties, but in 2021 we were much better. We were able to get really good results and be competitive. We were able to understand how to exploit our Ninja ZX-10RR there. Of course, this year we will turn up with a further improved machine.

“In the first couple of races of the season I felt very strong on the bike and very consistent. This weekend it will be very important to keep the ball rolling. Aside from a DNF in race two at Assen we have not been off the podium, or even out of the top two, which shows our strength.”

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