Jonathan Rea is confident he will hit the ground running when the 2010 World Superbike Championship starts in Australia in just over a month's time after dominating the first pre-season test at Portimao.
Rea heads into the 2010 season as one of the title favourites, but furthered his cause in Portugal with a fine display that would see him eventually set an unofficial lap record around the Algarve circuit.
Continuing a strong run of form that started towards the end of the 2009 season, Rea completed a total of 143 laps and emerged with a best lap of 1min 42.270secs.
Attention now turns to Phillip Island, which doubles up as the second and final test, as well as the opening round of the year. Having qualified well in 2009, but struggled in the races, Rea is positive things will work out better this time around.
“These three days have just been part of our preparation for the new season – preparation that started almost as soon as last season finished,” he said. “We were fast at Valencia in December but didn't get the chance to put all our best settings together. We were able to do that here, and throw in a number of different tyres this afternoon.
“It was good to see P1 on the pit board for a lot of laps here and we know we have a good package to take to Australia now. We've got something that won't be so hard on the tyres, which was a problem there last year.”
Topping four of the six sessions over the weekend, Rea was pleased with his Ten Kate Honda, in particular the Ohlins suspension that was credited for his turnaround during the second-half of 2009.
“I'm feeling in great condition and feel that my focus and concentration have improved on last season. The bike itself is now just clicks away, rather than having to change lots of different things.
"We're actually not that far away from when we first changed to Ohlins last June and now it's all about fine-tuning.”
Jonathan Rea's Portimao test card
1min 43.138s – 2nd
1min 43.033s – 3rd
(wet) 1min 55.062s – 1st
Saturday PM: (wet)
1min 49.107s – 1st
1min 43.059s – 1st
1min 42.270s – 1st
1min 42.270 – 1st