Jonathan Rea has admitted he will be focused on maintaining his 47-point lead in the Superbike World Championship as the series hits Magny Cours this weekend.
The reigning champion has been adamant his focus has been solely on winning races so far this season but with three rounds now remaining, the Northern Irishman has turned his attention to ensuring he becomes the first rider to successfully defend a World Superbike title since Carl Fogarty in 1999.
An uncharacteristic fall in the first race last time out at the Lausitzring showed Rea how easy it is to lose points to title rival and team-mate, Tom Sykes as he saw his championship lead halved. Fortunately for the Ulsterman, race two saw the team-mates’ fortunes reverse as Sykes fell, allowing Rea to re-gain the points he’d lost.
“A wet race win in Germany was a nice way to finish the weekend last time out and I have l slept really well this week,” he said. “I am looking forward to Magny Cours because I have had a good history there and I enjoy riding it. It is always pretty full of French fans and, of course, it is that crucial time of the season now.
“We have a points advantage but not enough to be comfortable with, so we still have to go out and make big points in France. Of course, at this stage of the year I am thinking about the gap but I do not want to let it affect my riding. We can’t really manage a 47-point lead because we can see how easy it is to lose a bunch of points. But going into the weekend in France I am happy and confident on the bike and we have a lot of data for the track. We know what works there and we will start with a good base and work step-by-step through the weekend.”
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