Jonathan Rea says he's 'proud and excited' to notch up his 200th World Superbike race start as he looks to fortify his healthy 50-point lead in the riders' championship.

The Kawasaki Racing Team rider may have lost his 100% winning record in 2017 after Chaz Davies claimed victory in race two at Aragon but he was still able to extend his championship lead to effectively a double race victory worth of points.

After three days of in-season testing split between Aragon and Portimao, Rea is relishing the return to Assen for the Dutch round having claimed back-to-back double race wins at the track since joining Kawasaki in 2015.

Rea has nine race wins in total at Assen, the most he's secured at any World Superbike track, and is aiming to celebrate another double victory as he marks his 200th race start in the series.

"I'm really excited to go to Assen as it's a circuit that typically I've been very strong at in the past," Rea said. "I really enjoy the layout and nature of the track. Sunday at Assen will also mark my 200th career WorldSBK race start so that, in itself, is something I'm both proud and excited about.

"Since the Motorland Aragon race we had three days testing where we've worked hard to improve the set up of the ZX-10RR and also worked on some areas where we have been struggling, with positive results.

"The WorldSBK Assen weekend always falls around this time of the year and history has shown that the weather can play a part, so it's important to be fast in both the wet and the dry. I'm excited for whatever condition arrives. It's always a great feeling riding in front of the passionate Dutch fans, who always turn out in force."

According to World Superbike statistics, Rea has reached the podium in 94 of his 198 races and is narrowly off of a 50% podium rate. Since he joined Kawasaki back in 2015, he has climbed on the podium 52 times out of 58 for an outstanding 89% rate.



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