Jonathan Rea believes he is capable of overcoming the 14 point deficit to fourth place Max Biaggi in the World Superbike standings as he returns to the scene of his category debut in Portugal.
Having missed out on the chance to take the World Supersport title to a deciding round, Rea instead received an early promotion to the Superbike class for the final event of the season, the Northern Irishman hinting at his potential by finishing just off the podium in his first race.
Since then, Rea has been a revelation, winning two races in his rookie season to almost guarantee himself a top five finish in the overall standings.
Nonetheless, despite the setback of a retirement last time out in France, Rea is confident he can go one better in Portugal by challenging for victory and overhauling fourth place Biaggi.
“Last year, Portimao was my first race on a Ten Kate Honda Superbike and I really had a lot of fun. Although the track has quite a difficult layout, I really enjoy riding it and I'm looking forward to going back there.
“The bike is completely different to the one I rode last year and at the pre-season test, so we'll be working from a much better starting point. Although it's the final round, there's still a chance for me to improve my overall position in the championship so we'll be working really hard for that.
“Without a championship to challenge for, the last few races have really been about concentrating on building our speed and carrying that through into winter testing. I'm aiming for a fun end to the season and will be going for two more good finishes to end the year on a high.”