Jonathan Rea has set his sights on testing ahead of the 2009 season after an impressive debut World Superbike performance in Portugal delivered otherwise mixed results.
The former BSB race winner was returning to the Superbike fray for the first time since 2007 following a season in the Supersport class, but showed no signs of needing to re-acclimatise as he battled with the leaders from the off on Friday.
Going on to qualify third, Rea was up with the leaders in both races, even if a rather aggressive style in the first event resulted in a couple of errors that ultimately dropped him out of podium contention. Even so, a fourth place finish still gives his rivals a clear indicator as to his intentions for 2009.
While a forced error in the second event, which he briefly led, left him down in an eventual 15th, he was nonetheless satisfied with his maiden showing.
“It's been OK for a first weekend on the Superbike and I managed to get back into the groove OK,” he said. “In the second race, I got forced wide and ended up back in eighteenth. But I was strong enough to get back to fifteenth and to take fourth in race one was mega.
“Big thanks to both my Supersport and Superbike teams for making the transition so easy for me – and to hold on to second place in the World Supersport championship today was fantastic. I can't wait to start testing in South Africa next month for next season.”