Jonathan Rea admits even he was surprised by the lap time that won him a maiden World Superbike Championship pole position at Assen as he looks to kick start his title challenge with a victory in the races.
Although a two-time race winner at WSBK level, the Northern Irishman is yet to start a race from pole position, but having hinted at his potential through practice and provisional qualifying, he successfully broke his duck with the only lap to breach 1min 35secs this weekend thus far.
Furthermore, Rea adds that he wasn't aware of how fast the lap time was, maintaining he just felt comfortable around a circuit he tested at in the two weeks leading up to the event.
Turning his attention to the races, having only managed one podium so far this season, Rea is determined to get his challenge for the title back on track.
“I'm so excited,” he beamed. “It's my first ever world championship pole position and Ronald [ten Kate] said to me before: “You're not sweating here – you need to push harder and do one fast lap!” But it didn't even feel fast; I just clipped all my apexes and with the grip of the qualifier I was able to open the throttle earlier and the lap time even surprised me.
“My team are really pulling out all the stops at the moment. We had a test here last week and I've been staying here the last couple of weeks in my motor-home behind the workshop. But it's down to business tomorrow and I think my CBR is good enough on race pace.
“There'll be three or four out there who can go at the front so I'll just put in 22 big ones and see where we end up after that.”
There was further success for Ten Kate when it secured pole position in the Supersport, Superstock 1000 and Superstock 600 categories too.