Honda World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea heads into this weekend's race at historic Monza high on confidence following his maiden victory of 2012 at Assen.

Rea has broke new ground with the set-up of his CBR1000RR and is optimistic he can continue to make further progress with the Fireblade in Italy.

The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland has suffered with stability under braking at Monza in the past, but hopes a 'clear direction' with the development of the Honda will stand him in good stead for Sunday's races.

"After a relaxing spell at home, I'm heading to Monza with confidence after Assen, but that chapter is closed now and a new one will open this weekend," he said.

"It's a unique race, which has developed into a bit of a horsepower battle between manufacturers, but I've been involved in a couple of first turn crashes in the last two years - it's always difficult funnelling everyone into that tight chicane at the end of the straight.

"We've moved into a new area with the bike now and we've been working on a different set-up with a clear development route," he added.

"I hope we'll be able to take advantage of that at Monza, which requires stability, especially under braking, and that's something we've suffered with in the past.

"I'm really looking forward to being back in Italy - I love racing there and the Italian fans have such a passion which is very contagious."

Rea is seeking his first podium finish at Monza as he attempts to build on his race two success at the Ten Kate team's home circuit at Assen last time out.

His team-mate, Hiroshi Aoyama, has never raced at Monza before but his looking forward to making his debut in the legendary Italian speed arena.

"Monza is another new track for me and I know there is a lot of history about the place. I have also heard that it is very fast with an average speed over 200kph!

"So, there is a lot for me to learn and, even though I have seen a little bit on PlayStation, I will start to learn the way round bit-by-bit," said Aoyama.

"We had some problems with rear grip at Assen and this will be important to get on to the fast straights at Monza. So I will sit down with my crew on Wednesday and Thursday and work out a strategy.

"But I am looking forward to riding the Monza race track for the first time on Friday morning."


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment