With three back-to-back titles already behind him, Jonathan Rea glides into 2018 as the man to beat. He could equal Carl Fogarty’s record of four titles and just five more victories will see him topple King Carl’s all-time record of 59 wins.
And while WSB bosses might have tried to reign him in a bit this year, the three-time champion isn’t convinced the racing will be much closer this season when proceedings get underway at Phillip Island this weekend.
“Nobody likes change or knows what to expect. Dorna aren’t crazy and this isn’t being done to sabotage anybody – it’s in the best interests of the championship for the racing to be closer," Rea told MCN.
“For me, that is just further motivation to have a good year. All I know is I’m riding well and the bike is good, so there’s nothing more we can do. It’s business as usual: Score as many points as possible from day one. Do I think the racing will be closer? No, to be honest I don’t think it will.”
For an extensive 2018 World Superbike pre-season preview, pick up this week's MCN