Jonathan Rea ended his MotoGP debut at Misano in a fine eighth place on the Repsol Honda, but admits he is “nowhere near” the limit on the factory RC213V.
The Ulsterman has had little time to adjust to the bike since he was drafted into the team as a replacement for the injured Casey Stoner, participating in the post-race test at Brno before a two-day shakedown at Aragon prior to the San Marino round.
He lost out on more vital development time on the 1000cc machine after Friday's practice was hit by poor weather, so Rea can rightfully feel more than satisfied with a solid debut in the blue riband class.
“It was a tough race and I just wanted to get into a rhythm and maintain it.
“I'm still nowhere near the limit – I'm not really having any moments, just a few mistakes running wide – it's a matter of trust and I'm still acclimatising to the machine,” Rea said.
“I'm really happy with the progress I made throughout the race and I learnt so much that you simply can't pick up in testing about race distance – how the tyre wear goes down, the fuel load and how the bike behaves differently.
“In the beginning Nicky [Hayden] pulled a gap and I was catching him but in the end it wasn't enough.”
The 25-year-old World Superbike star was content with eighth position, although he was a “little frustrated” by the gap to the leading riders.
“To finish eighth is ok, but the gap to the front is a little frustrating,” he said.
“In general I'm really happy and I'm looking forward to the next challenge in Aragon.
“I want to thank all the Repsol Honda team for their hard work and support they've given me and to all the fans back home.”