Jonathan Rea has played down his status as Ten Kate Honda's top representative in what is his maiden season in the this year's World Superbike Championship.
Rea is currently classified fourth in the current standings, with more experienced team-mates Carlos Checa and Ryuichi Kiyonari down in ninth and tenth respectively, while the Northern Irishman is the only rider of the trio to win a race this year.
Coming in the season where he made graduation from the World Supersport Championship, Rea, along with his team-mates, suffered a disappointing start to the season but has made significant headway in recent races, culminating in his victory at Misano.
However, Rea says he doesn't feel like Ten Kate's team leader, pointing out that each rider has their own direction that they pursue.
“I believe in my ability,” he told Crash.net Radio
. “If I have as good machinery as everyone else then I'd like to think I could beat them all, but at the start of the season we struggled as a team. I think we have gone back to the drawing board and come back with a stronger package.
“I feel strong, but I don't feel like a team leader – we all work together and we share data. We all take the bike in the direction we want to go, so each bike is developed by the rider themselves. It's a freedom we have here that is really good.”
Looking to the remainder of the season, Rea is keen to maintain his momentum as he begins visiting circuits where he experienced success as a Supersport rider last year.
“I am on top of my target for what I set at the start of the year,” he added. “We are only half way through the season and a lot of things can happen. I can only hope to keep moving forward, so it would be a shame if I started going backwards.
“We have seen a few riders start really strong and then not be able to rise to the occasion in the later races, which is my worst nightmare. I have a few races coming up that I feel strong about, so hopefully we can have a good end to the year.”