Jonathan Rea will start his World Superbike comeback races at the Nurburgring from ninth position on the grid as he slowly works his way back into competitiveness.
The Ulsterman, who hasn't started a race since Miller Motorsports Park, has shown few ill-effects from the injured wrist that has kept him out of action for almost three months, consistently lapping inside the top ten.
Though he wasn't able to turn that into a second row start, Rea is content with his performance, one that also marks Castrol Honda's first top ten start since Monza.
“To be honest, it's about where I thought I might be – inside the top t en – but I had hoped for a little better. It would have been nice to be on the second row tomorrow, but it's not the case and we just missed out on Superpole 3 by a small margin.
“We had a little bit of trouble getting the tyre to work well in the higher temperature today so we've got a bit of work to do tonight. Tomorrow the conditions are said to be a lot different, cooler with maybe even some rain, but it doesn't satisfy us that we haven't got over the temperature issues today.
“Come what may tomorrow, my aim is to finish strong in both races. I've been a long time off the bike now, but I'm slowly getting back into a rhythm. Hopefully we'll find the right settings to get two solid results, whatever the weather's doing.”
On the other side of the garage, Makoto Tamada, returning to WSBK action after more than a year on the sidelines as a substitute for the injured Ruben Xaus
this weekend, was a disappointed 20th and last.
It has been quite tough riding again in such a competitive championship after some time away. I had a small crash this afternoon but I was trying very hard to improve my lap time. The team has worked very hard these two days to give me a good feeling on the bike, but still it is very tough to improve.
“Of course, I will work with the team tonight to see if there is anywhere we can improve the setting and I will try my best in both the races tomorrow.