Jonathan Rea is hoping a return to form at Misano will kick-start a good run of form again as the 2014 World Superbike Championship season enters its second-half following disappointing weekends at Donington Park and Sepang.
Three wins in a row between Assen and Imola lifted Rea to the top of the WSBK standings heading to Donington Park last month, but two lacklustre weekends have since seen him slip back in the fight for the title.
Nonetheless, Rea has had good results at the Marco Simoncelli World Circuit – which returns to the schedule after an absence of a year -, the Ulsterman scoring his first WSBK win in 2009, even if it was also the scene of where he broke his wrist in 2011.
“Misano is a circuit with mixed emotions for me because I injured my wrist quite badly there in 2011, but the highlight will always be memories of my first World Superbike win in my debut year in 2009,” the PATA Honda rider said. “I love the track layout and the atmosphere at Misano and it's in a beautiful part of the world.
“We've struggled a bit at the last two rounds so we're hoping that the circuit will suit the new Fireblade SP. The team and I certainly learned a lot at Sepang and we'll be working hard all weekend to get back to podium ways.
“I'm really excited about this round because it marks the halfway point in the season and, with three races now in fairly quick succession, it's important to maximise our performances before we head into the summer break.”
Rea is currently 22 points shy of the WSBK lead in third overall.