Pata Honda World Superbike star Jonathan Rea will bid to repeat his 2012 success at this weekend's legendary Suzuka 8-Hour race in Japan.

The Northern Ireland rider became the first British competitor in 33 years to win the famous race last year, taking a memorable victory in the FCC TSR Honda team with Kosuke Akiyoshi.

Rea will again ride for the team and is joined by Samsung Honda British Superbike rider Ryuichi Kiyonari, who is standing in for the injured Akiyoshi.

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Rea said: "I tested recently and even on the first afternoon we were as fast as last year. The team has been held back a little by Akiyoshi-san's leg injury but Kiyonari-san has definitely stepped up to the plate.

"He has been riding really well. We have a really good compromise on our bike settings, so it should be good," added Rea.

"The bike's character is completely different with Bridgestone tyres compared to the bike I ride in World Superbikes.

"With the engine leaned off for fuel consumption, it feels like a very balanced and stable Superstock bike... very stable.

"This race is a huge part of my year, and I have more tools in the bag this time from my experience.

"You have to conserve energy, and go with the flow. The goal is to win again."