Jonathan Rea says the support he received in Saturday’s North West 200 gave him extra motivation ahead of the return of World Superbikes this weekend.
Rea heads to Estoril in second place in the standings, 18 points behind early leader Alvaro Bautista.
The 35-year-old had almost a month off after the previous round in Assen, Netherlands, and spent time at home in Northern Ireland.
Read more:Jonathan Rea forced to ‘park’ North West 200 after incredible response
And on Saturday he was the special guest at the North West 200 International Road Race on the North Coast.
And Rea says the support from road racing fans has given him a bit more energy ahead of this weekend’s WSBK event in Portugal.
“It’s been nice to have a little break but honestly after the first week away from the circuit I’d rather be back,” he said.
“It’s always nice when the feeling with the bike is good to keep the momentum going, but it was also nice spending time at home, continuing my training and visiting the North West 200 last weekend. .
“It was cool to see such a big event in Northern Ireland and the support from motorcyclists for what I do is amazing, even in a pure road racing event.
“Now I’m pretty excited to go to Estoril.”
Rea has fond memories of Estoril.
It was on this circuit that he won his sixth consecutive World Superbike Championship.
The Co Antrim rider lost to Toprak Razgatlioglu last year to end his incredible winning streak, but he’s now back and ready to reclaim his throne.
“It’s a very cool circuit and I enjoy the layout. I have very good memories of it, especially in 2020,” said Rea.
“Winning my sixth WorldSBK title there was an incredible feeling. To be honest, this weekend I really didn’t ride very well because we had some difficulties, but in 2021 we were much better.
“We were able to achieve very good results and be competitive. We were able to figure out how to operate our Ninja ZX-10RR there.
“Of course this year we will come with an even better machine. In the first two races of the season I felt very strong on the bike and very consistent.
“This weekend, it will be very important to keep the ball rolling.
“Apart from a DNF in Race 2 at Assen, we didn’t come out of the podium, or even out of the top two, which shows our strength.
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