Jonathan Rea says he feels 'half Dutch already' having spent the past week in the Netherlands helping the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team to prepare for its home round of the World Superbike Championship season.
Rea, who sits fifth in the championship standings, spent time at the Ten Kate Motoren Honda motorcycle dealership in Nieuwleusen, where some 7,500 visitors attended the company's annual Pit Stop Day to look around the showroom and workshops and meet the team's riders.
Rea then spent two days testing at Assen to help the Ten Kate team improve grip from the Honda CBR1000RR and he admitted he was looking forward to the weekend.
“It's been great hanging out here for the last week and to meet all the Ten Kate fans again at the Pit Stop Day – I'm feeling half Dutch already!” he said. “We had a great test at Assen last week to work on making a good bike even better. The revised corner is fast but I really like the track anyway and I've gone okay here in the last couple of years.
“We completely re-evaluated the balance of the bike last week and tried shifting a lot of weight to the rear, which helped in delivering grip as it's accelerating out of corners. It's obviously difficult to know how it'll transfer to other circuits but it worked okay at Assen and, without getting ahead of ourselves, I found it quite easy to adapt my riding style to suit the change.
“It's hard to judge it properly until our rivals take to the track on Friday but it all looked quite positive when we overlaid the data from last year with other parts of the circuit.”