Jonathan Rea has expressed his pleasure at the improvements his Honda CBR1000RR is showing at Donington Park this weekend after qualifying in sixth position, but admits his race results could be conditioned by which tyres he opts for.
The Ulsterman is one of seven home-grown riders competing at Donington Park, but the Assen race winner is yet to get onto the podium around the Leicestershire circuit.
Nonetheless, Rea has been pleased with his performance this weekend, particularly when compared with last season, and feels it is representative of the step forward the whole team has made in recent rounds.
“Firstly, we achieved our target which was to make Superpole 3, and the bike's still working really well,” said Rea, who eventually qualified sixth on the grid. “I'm having some problems with the wheelie control on the straights and some aggressive power. We'll try to smooth that off for the races but, at the moment.
Looking ahead to the races, Rea believes the tyre choice will prove critical, with the firmer rubber noticeably slower than its softer counterpart, but far more durable.
“The race looks a little strange because everyone's found a little bit of pace with the softer tyre, which is quite fast. We've had one looking pretty good after some distance and one looking terrible so we need to evaluate the risk to go with that one, or run with the harder tyre, which is a lot slower, but we know it'll complete the race in good shape.
“The bike's working a lot better than last year so we're definitely making progress with the CBR and the whole team is working well.”