World Superbikes: Jonathan Rea back in action after two-month break
Jonathan Rea will hope to take another step towards retaining his World Superbike title when the series resumes in Germany after a two-month break.
Rea, 27, and his title rivals will be back in action this weekend at the Lausitzring circuit, which hosts a round for the first time since 2007.
With four rounds remaining, Rea enjoys a 46-point lead over Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes at the top of the standings.
Ducati's Chaz Davies is a further 62 points in arrears in third.
The final positions will be decided over the forthcoming eight races, which will be staged in Germany, France, Spain and Qatar.
The riders have enjoyed a longer than anticipated summer break since the ninth round at Laguna Seca in July, the Monza round in Italy having been removed from the calendar because of safety concerns with the track layout.
Rea and Sykes took a win apiece at the Californian circuit, but the Northern Ireland was forced to retire in race two with a mechanical problem, ending his 17-race podium streak.
Rea heads win tally for season
Isle of Man-based Rea and the Yorkshireman have won eight and five races respectively in the championship so far, with Welshman Davies also occupying the top step of the podium on five occasions.
"I rode at the Lausitzring recently on my own road bike and it was good to get some track time at a course that is new to me. Our rivals tested there so it was important," said Rea.
"It was a long summer break - at first I just enjoyed being at home and after that I knuckled down to be in ideal condition for the last few races.
"I really put in some effort at the gym, riding motocross and my bicycle."
Rea's aim will be to finish ahead of his team-mate at the next two rounds, which would provide him with the opportunity to retain his title in mid-October at Jerez, the same venue where he wrapped up the Championship last season.
"The last four rounds come along in quick succession and it's important to be razor sharp to give myself the best possible chance through to the end of the season.
"My focus now is to increase the championship lead," added the County Antrim rider.
|World Superbike Championship 2016|
|1. Jonathan Rea (GB)||Kawasaki||368|
|2. Tom Sykes (GB)||Kawasaki||322|
|3. Chaz Davies (GB)||Ducati||260|
|4. Davide Giugliano (Ita)||Ducati||185|
|4. Michael van Der Mark (Ned)||Honda||185|
|6. Nicky Hayden (USA)||Honda||173|