After a month away from the World Superbike championship, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Max Neukirchner have been preparing themselves for this weekend's 11th round of the series at Nurburgring in Germany.

The Dutch-based squad completed a day's testing of suspension and electronics components at their local circuit of Assen earlier this week, allowing both riders to get back to speed following a period of more than four weeks away from their CBR1000RR race bikes.

Jonathan Rea, 23, currently lies in third place in the world championship standings but returns to the historic 5.137km Nurburgring as a previous race winner, having emerged on the top step of the podium in race two last year, after placing fourth in race one.

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The Northern Irishman beat 2009 champion Ben Spies to the race victory, breaking the Nurburgring lap record on the final lap.

Rea enjoyed his return to track action during the Assen test and, despite rain interruptions, was quickly back up to speed and close to the race pace that netted him a double victory at the Dutch circuit back in April.

"It's been good to have some time off, but I couldn't wait to get back on the bike," he said. "The test at Assen couldn't have come at a better time because it gave us a chance to shake off some cobwebs before Nurburgring and to try a whole load of new stuff for the bike.

"The development has carried on during the break and the team is continuing to make a big effort right through to the end of the season. It's good to get my head back up to 180-190mph in preparation for Nurburgring, which I'm really looking forward to. I like riding there and managed to get a win last year.

"However, I'm under no illusions that everyone else will also be coming back strong after the break, so it's definitely not going to be an easy weekend. We'll have to work hard to optimise the bike's setting to give me something to challenge up front with, but I'm sure the guys can give me that.

Home hero Neukirchner hasn't had quite as much time away from the track as his team-mate, having competed in the IDM German Superbike championship round at Assen two weeks ago. Neukirchner won the opening race and finished third in the second outing on a CBR1000RR prepared by Ten Kate Racing Products.

"All is good, and it was very interesting going back to Assen so soon after the IDM race on a completely different bike!" said the German. "Everything went pretty well yesterday and we were concentrating mostly on engine and electronics to get a good level of smooth power which is what we'll need for this weekend in Nurburgring.

"I'm really looking forward to the races and the IDM results have given me a big boost and a motivation to do well. It's a home race, of course, but there won't be quite so many of my own fans as there were at Brno because it's a bit further away for them. However, we'll start with something close to where we left Silverstone and I'll try to give the German race fans something to cheer about!"

"Despite a couple of showers of rain, we got a lot of track time at our Assen test and we were able to test some new electronics and suspension settings," said team manager Ronald ten Kate. "We had a good couple of races before the break, too, at Brno and Silverstone, and we hope that Max can benefit from a home race advantage in Germany. His IDM championship race at Assen gave him a taste for podium champagne again and certainly lifted his spirits, so we're ready to go!"