Despite securing a provisional front row slot for the latest round of the World Superbike Championship at Misano, Jonathan Rea admits he isn't yet happy with the performance of his Ten Kate Honda.
Rea, together with team-mates Carlos Checa and Ryuichi Kiyonari, was on hand to sample Ohlins suspension for the first time, alongside their existing supplier WP, with all three riders impressing in practice and first qualifying.
It was the Northern Irishman that led their charge though at the end of day one but while Rea wasn't immediately happy with his bike, he believes the new suspension could be the 'big step' he has been searching for all season.
“I'm not that happy because the balance of the CBR is not quite right yet, although I think a small change can make it a lot better. This afternoon was a little frustrating because I have two engines with different characteristics. The one I prefer was in the chassis that wasn't handling as well as the one with the other engine.
“We'll overlay the two sets of data tonight though, and get it working for tomorrow. I'm not too worried about position, really – I'm just very happy with the way the development of the bike is going. We've been testing new suspension this week and I feel this big step could be a new way forward for us.”
It was a sentiment shared by Checa, who ended the day in seventh position on the second HANNspreed sponsored machine.
“For a first day this is not so bad. For a first day with new suspension it's quite good. Of course, we need to understand how we can work with this alternative to get the best from it, but I think this is just a question of time. So far the feeling is very positive.
“For this weekend we now are working on tyres and we are getting good signs in this area, too. Tomorrow might be completely different of course if the weather forecast is correct, but the pace is quite good at the moment and times are very close. We can still improve things but I think a small change can make a big improvement.”