Rea ‘not thinking about three in a row’

When Jonathan Rea lines up on the Phillip Island grid this month he will be defending the WSBK title for the second time but insists he’s not thinking about number three.

Last season the Kawasaki rider romped to the championship title, taking it by 51 points ahead of his team-mate Tom Sykes.

Rea claimed nine race wins, including two doubles, on his way to a second title in as many years.

However, the big question is can he do it a third time.

"It's a question I've had a lot," he told "I'm not thinking about three in a row. I don't think you can. 

"I'm looking at it as 2017 and what I've done in the past, we've reset to zero."

The 30-year-old Ulsterman has been hard at work preparing for the new season, both on the track in testing and off it.

It is a season that Rea is very much looking forward to but he admits everyone starts from zero. 

"Last year, when I won, I really enjoyed winning it," he added. "I really made the most of it at home. I enjoyed putting my feet up, eating what I wanted and drinking what I want. 

"When the time came to start focussing on training and performance I started quite early. Winter tests went super smooth and the bike's improved. Step-by-step I've got stronger as well. The relationship with the bike is even stronger. 

"I'm just looking at this year as completely new. I forget what's happened in the past and everyone starts from zero in two week's time. That's so exciting. I understand how to win a championship. I know our strengths and weaknesses. We've just got to worry about ourselves. 

"Like I've said, we've had this step-by-step philosophy that we've applied from the start. Together with all my crew and Kawasaki, we'll work with that in mind to try and win the championship. 

"At the end of the year we'll hopefully be there fighting for it at least."