Jonathan Rea heads into the latter stages of the 2009 World Superbike Championship on a confidence high after emerging from the two-day mid-season test at Imola on top.
The Northern Irishman was amongst the front runners from the word go, never dropping outside the top six positions, before a mighty effort on his final lap of the week saw him dethrone Michel Fabrizio from the top of the timesheets.
Further proof that the Ten Kate Honda team is beginning to get on terms with Ducati and Yamaha following a difficult start to the year, Rea spent his time working on the base setting he used in his victory at Misano.
Approaching the test as a steady build up before attempting to post a quick lap time in the latter stages, Rea was pleased with the outcome of the test.
“It's been a good couple of days here at Imola, which we started with a really different approach. Instead of trying to change things from the start, we just waited until I was really up to speed.
“That took most of the first day, when we really only changed one thing. We started trying some new stuff this morning and I was able to run consistently in the top three and we were able to confirm the good base setting that we found at Misano.
“After that, we just fine tuned things, but it was really motivational to be at a new track with everything fresh. I was even quick through the sector with the chicane in it, and slower corners and chicanes are normally my weaker points.
With Kenan Sofuoglu topping the Supersport timesheets too, Rea is hopeful that the Imola test signals an important shift in prominence for the Ten Kate team.
“All in all, it's been good and I want to thank the team for all their work in changing the approach to work here. We got another boost when Kenan set the fastest Supersport time, so I think we can go to Brno next week with some confidence.”