He was a first-time World Superbike winner at Misano last year, but twelve months on Jonathan Rea leaves Italy lamenting his least competitive weekend of an increasingly inconsistent season.

The Northern Irishman battled severe chatter problems on the Ten Kate Honda from the start of the weekend, Rea not once creeping into the top ten during free practice and qualifying.

Although strong starts in both races lifted him into contention initially, they would flatter to deceive as Rea faded back to eventual 12th and 13th place finishes.

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A remarkable turnaround for both rider and team having featured at the sharp end of the field for much of the season, Rea is looking to the mid-season test at Imola as the opportunity to get back on terms with the front runners.

"I'm sure you don't need me to tell you how I'm feeling after this weekend, and most of what I'm feeling you wouldn't be able to publish anyway. It's unbelievably frustrating to be held back by this problem when it wasn't that long ago that we were winning together.

"We just haven't been able to sort things out this weekend and the results show that more clearly than anything else. We've got to get it together and I'm hoping that a two day test will allow us an opportunity to do that."

Rea's despair was shared by team manager Ronald ten Kate, who admits he had to remind himself of Rea's previous results to prove the problems are down to the bike.

"I can understand the frustrations of the riders since we couldn't solve the issues we seem to have had on the bike this weekend. If I wasn't able to remember the race-craft displayed by Jonathan at Assen, Monza, Kyalami, when rider and machine seemed to be in a perfect balance, I'd be at my wits' end.

"As it is, we have to find a solution to this and it's really important that we find a step forward at the Imola test this week."