Jonathan Rea is confident he can still turn in a good race performance in Qatar, despite committing a tactical error in Superpole that leaves him on the fifth row of the grid.
Rea was expected to be in contention for a front row position after qualifying a provisional second, but was caught out in Superpole when the race tyre he had used to good effect only minutes before in free practice didn't produce the same kind of results when it mattered.
Although comfortably through to Q2 with just a couple of minutes remaining, a flurry of quick laps behind him put him on the cusp before Troy Corser dealt the final blow for and relegated him into the drop zone.
Stuck in the pit lane and with no chance to respond, Rea will start his third career WSBK race from 17th position. However, while a significant difference to his third place on grid in Australia, Rea admits the pressure is off now looking forward to the prospect of fighting his way through the field.
“I've been running near the top for the last two days, so I used a soft race tyre in the first Superpole session – one that I'd done a fast time on in the free practice just before. Unfortunately, it didn't work and although we thought we'd be safe, as it turned out, we weren't.
“It's going to be very hard from the fifth row tomorrow, but I'm really confident in the package the we've got and in my ability to do the lap times. Whereas I was a bit nervous on the front row in Australia, I'm quite pumped for tomorrow and I'll do my best to make it happen. There might be some fireworks on the first couple of laps, so stay tuned!”