Jonathan Rea says he is just 'scratching the surface' of his bike's potential after improvements to his Ten Kate Honda helped him secure provisional pole position at the Nurburgring.

Although free practice and qualifying were held in dismal weather conditions, Rea was consistently amongst the frontrunners throughout the day, going second in the opening session before emerging half a second quicker than anyone else in the latter.

Mastering the slippery surface, Rea was full of praise for his revised CBR1000RR, claiming the improvements made over the summer break are giving him increasing amounts of confidence.

"I thought the guys in the team would have rested during the summer break but it seems they've been working right through, developing new things to try," he said. "We've been working on how the rear behaves on corner entry and the work they've done has helped a lot, especially in the wet today.

"We did a lot of laps to confirm things but I really think we're just scratching the surface of the potential we have - it really is working. I'm feeling really at ease on the bike and with the whole way the team is working together. If I have a problem, I come in, we fix it, and I go faster again. It's feeling really good."

Team-mate Carlos Checa, meanwhile, enjoyed a positive day despite languishing down in 12th when a shot at a provisional front row slot was scuppered a fallen rider directly in front.

"We worked on wet settings throughout today and the important thing is that the balance of the bike, the overall feeling on the brakes was all good.

"I didn't want to risk too much in the conditions today but the last lap was OK until I got to the final chicane where another rider almost high-sided and crashed in front of me. I though I might get another lap in but the flag was down. I hope we can get some dry track time tomorrow because the forecast for Sunday is for dry conditions."