With just four rounds left in the 2021 WorldSBK championship and seven points separating Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea, Catalunya begins a crucial triple-header this weekend. 

Rea, who lost his championship lead following the final race at Navarra before being bettered by Razgatlioglu in Magny-Cours, is involved in arguably his most challenging season as a Kawasaki rider. 

The pressure from Razgatlioglu has been relentless all season which is one of a few reasons as to why Rea has just one win in his last nine races. 

Scott Redding’s resurgence in Most and Navarra (was able to split Razgatlioglu and Rea), along with a crash for Rea during the Czech round are other reasons as to why Razgatlioglu - finished ahead of Rea in six of the last nine races, has overturned a 37 point deficit following Assen. 

But with that said, the final stretch of the season brings with it a couple of tracks where Rea will fancy himself to regain points on the Yamaha rider, including this weekend in Barcelona. 

While previous WorldSBK results are hard to go by due to last season’s Catalan round being the inaugural event, Rea did take the opening race win along with a second and fourth during the three races. 

Speaking ahead of this weekend, Rea added: "It’s exciting to go back to Barcelona, for many reasons. I had a win in the first ever WorldSBK race there last season and Montmelo is the team’s home round. 

"I spend a lot of time there and even during these covid times we will have a lot of guests and sponsors there, so it will be even more important to be at 100% to do the best job we can. 

"The circuit’s really nice, I really enjoy it, especially the new turn 10, which is much more open than the past and the track has more flow now. We have tested there in the summer and we were able to make a good step with our Ninja ZX-10RR. 

"It is a circuit that is very critical for tyre wear, so we need to focus on that to be strong at the end of the race. 

"I feel good with our bike and I was able to fight in Magny Cours for the podium and in Barcelona the target will be the same. 

"The championship is very close and now we have three rounds in a row, so it is so important to be strong - but also to be consistent and make no mistakes. 

"What happens in these next three weeks will have a big impact on the championship, so I am super-excited to get going."