Jonathan Rea says he is going into the opening round of the World Superbike Championship with his sights set firmly on launching an immediate challenge for the title, but maintains he isn't underestimating the task in hand.
Rea has been amongst the pace setters during pre-season testing, setting an unofficial new lap record at Portimao before overcoming some minor issues at Phillip Island to emerge fifth best.
Tipped as one of the favourites for the overall title, Rea is feeling well prepared for the season opener, adding his Ten Kate Honda package is feeling 'more polished'.
"We were very busy in our recent Phillip Island test, but we are OK, we will be fine at the race weekend. We have crossed some things out now, and we can start with a more polished package for race weekend.”
Despite feeling confident, however, Rea is under no illusions about the strength of his opposition.
“My aim, my goal is to win the championship. It is also the team's aim, but this a very hard championship. We will be aiming for podiums at Phillip Island for sure, and we are optimistic about the season but we are not naïve to think that it will just come. Everyone else has also upped their game this winter."
Rea finished fifth overall in his first season of World Superbike racing, winning two races at Misano and the Nurburgring.