Jonathan Rea says a raft of changes introduced to his Honda CBR1000RR during a test at Assen had the effect of making him faster than he was at the Dutch race weekend where he was a race winner.
The Ten Kate Racing-backed team returned to its home circuit of Assen to sample new developments that it hopes will allow Rea, now up to second in the overall standings, to maintain the momentum that has seen him finish inside the top six in each of the last eight races.
Declaring the new parts to be a success, particularly the engine, Rea even went as far to say that his overall pace was better than it was during the race weekend two months ago when he qualified second and won a race.
“There was some slippery stuff on the circuit first thing and it took some time to put some rubber down, but it turned out pretty good in the end,” he said. “We got to try a lot of new stuff, some of which we'd be reluctant to try over a race weekend and we ended up faster than over the race weekend in April.
“The new engine was a little better on the straights but we won't make any firm conclusions until we get to Aragon with our rivals. We worked a lot on gathering data for new electronics strategies and we've definitely made a step forward here and we're looking forward to using that.
“The throttle is smoother on acceleration and we also tried quite an extreme front fork setting which gave a good feeling. I'm looking forward to a couple of weeks off now, before re-gathering with the team at Aragon.”
The eighth round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship at Motorland Aragon will mark a new challenge for Rea since he was injured during the series' inaugural visit to the Spanish circuit last season.