Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea heads back to where it all began as WorldSBK prepares for Portimao this weekend.
The scene of his debut in the Superbike class back in 2008, Rea has 13 victories at the Algarve venue already under his belt with Assen the only circuit to see him score higher.
Two days of testing since Barcelona a fortnight ago - at both Catalunya and Motorland Aragon - has the team well prepared for the rollercoaster 4.6km layout as the 2022 WorldSBK Championship looks to bid farewell to Europe, with Rea aiming to bridge the gap in the title fight before he takes off for faraway shores.
“Portimao is a great circuit, and one which has a lot of special memories for me,” Rea reflected ahead of round nine. “I had my first ever WorldSBK race there in 2008.
“The circuit itself is very challenging. It has a lot of different characteristics, from slow corners to fast ones, blind entries and apexes, so there is a lot of rider input required.
“We have enjoyed some success there. After Barcelona, where we were able to extract the full potential from our Ninja ZX-10RR, I expect to go to Portugal and keep working with my team to create a good race package.
“The race in Portugal is also cool because I have a lot of travelling support from Northern Ireland there. It is a great circuit for viewing as well. The target is to have a really good weekend. I really want to get back to winning ways after this mid part of the season, where I have had a bit of a win drought.
“Our team has had two good days of testing recently; one at Barcelona following the race and one at Motorland. We have a lot more information now and I am excited to put that to good use in Portugal.”