Jonathan Rea says he can be satisfied with fourth on the grid for the fourth round of the World Superbike season at Monza, the Pata Honda rider admitting the Italian circuit was never expected to be a strong one for the bike.

Giving away some speed to his rivals in a straight line, Rea was able to compensate over the rest of the lap to very nearly come away with a front row start.

Indeed, though a late effort by Sylvain Guintoli would demote him to fourth, Rea was pleased to be mixing it with bikes that have been posting stronger top speeds.

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"A part of me is a little bit disappointed because for so long, I think until the last second, I was on the front row! But we've got to be happy, looking at our strengths and weaknesses, because it was never going to be a really strong circuit for us.

"I'm happy to be fighting, anyway. I had a small crash in free practice and knocked a little bit of my confidence in sector three where I was already strong. I regained that in Superpole so hopefully, with some rhythm tomorrow, I can get away with the front guys and be in the group.

"We'll see what happens and we've still got some areas we can work on, namely engine brake and how to stabilise the bike a little more into the corner. It's going to be two long races, but we're happy to race."