Jonathan Rea is confident he can find the improvements that will help him break down a four tenth gap to provisional pole sitter Michel Fabrizio following the opening day of action at Kyalami.
Eyeing a maiden podium finish in South Africa this weekend, Rea performed well during both free practice and provisional qualification, the Northern Irishman briefly leading the latter with ten minutes remaining before Fabrizio went quicker.
Nonetheless, while Rea was pleased to come away with the second quickest time of the day, he knows where he needs to find further improvements.
“We made a good step forward between the two sessions, just by softening up the front and adjusting the ride height. The track is really quite bumpy so a softer setting is needed, and that made things a little easier. The crew and I will have a look at the data, because we had a small chatter problem, which we'll try to eliminate tomorrow and see where else we can improve.”
Team-mate Carlos Checa, meanwhile, dropped from second to 11th between the sessions after going the wrong way on set-up.
“This morning was fine and in the early part of this afternoon's session but we changed bikes and I was not able to make any improvement or use the grip offered by a softer tyre. I think perhaps we went a little too soft to try to cure a small chatter problem, but that setting did not work when I tried to push harder at the end of the session, so I could not improve my time.”