Jonathan Rea says he will need to keep 'attacking' if he is to challenge for victory at this weekend's World Superbike season finale in Portugal, despite picking up provisional pole position.
Although Noriyuki Haga and Ben Spies' battle for the title occupies much of the attention at Portimao, the Northern Irishman is still bidding to conclude his rookie season by snatching fourth position off Max Biaggi in the overall standings.
While he needs to overturn a 14 points deficit in order to do so, Rea began his quest well by claiming provisional pole position for the Ten Kate Honda team, while the Aprilia man could only manage eighth.
A return to the scene of his World Superbike debut twelve months ago, Rea is feeling confident on the Honda CBR1000RR, but insists he will need to find more speed if he is to end his year on a high.
“That was a good first day and we've found a good balance with the bike,” he said. “We've been trying to put some distance on race tyres and we only used three tyres today. I'm finding more confidence on the bike each time I go out and the team is working really well.
“We're not getting ahead of ourselves though, and know that we need to go out and attack tomorrow, just like we did today. This is quite a technical track and I felt like I really gelled with it for the first time during that session. That's not all down to me, but also to the hard work the team has been putting in recently.”