Jonathan Rea is setting his sights on a successful return to World Superbike Championship action at Portimao following his solid MotoGP debut at Misano over the weekend.

Rea made his long-awaited MotoGP debut in the San Marino Grand Prix aboard the factory-backed Repsol Honda, the Ulsterman going on to finish in eighth position.

Expected to remain on board for the next couple of MotoGP rounds until the injured Casey Stoner returns, Rea will in the meantime return to more familiar Honda CBR1000RR machinery at Portimao, the penultimate round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship.

Scene of his WSBK debut four years ago, Rea feels his decent form around the circuit in seasons gone by will make him a contender this weekend.

"I'm really looking forward to this weekend because I love riding at Portimao - it's a very challenging circuit from a rider's point of view. It's also where I had my first World Superbike race so it holds some special memories for me.

"We made some positive steps with the Fireblade at Nurburgring but there's still lots more to do, especially with the electronics, working on acceleration on the side of the tyre to improve corner exit. We also need to develop the engine characteristics to smooth out the power delivery, so there's a bit to do.

"It certainly won't be easy but I think we can approach the weekend with some confidence in our challenge because the bike has gone well at Portimao in the past and I have a pretty good connection with the circuit.