Despite admitting to struggling during Superpole, both Jonathan Rea and Max Neukirchner remain positive about their race chances after qualifying a respective seventh and 17th on the grid.
Having caused a stir by putting himself third on the grid at Phillip Island twelve months ago, Rea was unable to repeat his performance this time around after struggling for grip with the softer qualifying tyre.
Indeed, although Rea did enough to reach the Superpole shootout, once there he would emerge seven tenths adrift of eventual pole sitter Leon Haslam, much to his frustration.
“We've struggled all weekend to get the most out of putting a new tyre in the bike,” he said. “We had exactly the same this afternoon in Superpole when we got no more grip from the qualifiers than we had from the race tyre.
Nonetheless, Rea is feeling more optimistic about his pace over a race distance, the Ten Kate man believing he will be able to haul himself to the front.
“Of course, I'm frustrated and quite disappointed to be starting from the second row. However, the positive thing is that our race pace has been improving steadily and I'm really excited that the racing finally starts properly tomorrow. I'm looking forward to getting amongst it, pushing to the front and seeing what we can do.”
Neukirchner, meanwhile, has it all to do on his Ten Kate Honda debut after falling out of contention during SP1 to qualify a lowly 17th. Nonetheless, the German feels certain he is fast enough to progress up the order come race day.
“I know it looks bad, and it's not a great starting position, but I'm actually feeling quite positive. We made some improvements this morning and I went faster as well as being able to improve on the life of the tyre.
“We will make some more changes to follow that direction and try these in warm-up tomorrow morning. We have two long races tomorrow and I'm feeling very fit and positive. I don't think I can win but it shouldn't be so bad if we can keep making the progress we made today.”