Jonathan Rea says he’s relishing the chance to restart his World Superbike title charge at Portimao as he looks to keep his impressive winning run going at the Portuguese circuit.

Rea heads to the Algarve having won the last seven consecutive World Superbike races at the track, stretching back to Race 2 in 2014 when he claimed his final win for Honda, while as a Kawasaki rider he remains undefeated at Portimao.

Following a productive test at the circuit two weeks ago, splitting work on both 2019 and 2020 developments, Rea says he’s ready to give his full focus on the final four rounds of this season as he looks to defend his 81-point lead over Alvaro Bautista.

“I am really excited to get back into racing again,” Rea said. “It has been such a long time since the last WorldSBK races and I can’t wait for the Portimao weekend.

“I love the track and after the tests we have a clear direction of the base settings that we will start with on the Ninja ZX-10RR. We will work step-by-step through Friday, trying to get a race package, and then focus on our qualifying to make sure we have a good race.

“I am going to have a lot of travelling support over from Northern Ireland and I cannot wait to get back to business. That race weekend feeling is something I really enjoy, together with all my team.”

With a maximum of 248 points still up for grabs over the final four rounds of the 2019 campaign, Rea’s fight to the World Superbike title remains far from certain but having won every single race in the same run of rounds last year, the Northern Irish rider is strong favourite to claim a historic fifth consecutive championship.

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