Jonathan Rea is excited about the prospect of competing at the new Moscow Raceway this weekend having enjoyed his first taste of the circuit during testing.

The Honda rider comes to the Russian event fifth in the standings, 19 points behind third plan man Tom Sykes, and is hoping the level playing field of a new venue will help him make up ground in the fight for the 'overall podium'.

Ending the day with the 12th best time, Rea was full of praise for the 'tight and technical' circuit, the Ulsterman confident it will promote close racing.

"It's always a great adventure and a professional challenge coming to a new country and a new circuit for the first time," he said. "I spent a day in Moscow at a Honda customer event and it was good to meet a new group of enthusiastic sportsbike fans.

"I really enjoyed the test as an opportunity to get acquainted with the Moscow Raceway circuit. First impressions of the track are that it's very tight and twisty. We're in second gear for pretty much most of the lap, obviously not for the straights, but it's fun! It's very technical and I'm enjoying it so far, but for the race weekend the times will be really close and I'm expecting tight racing.

"The infrastructure's nice and the track's quite smooth - it's a little bit dirty because there's not a lot of rubber down, but we're finding the track's getting faster and faster, so I'm looking forward to the weekend."