Jonathan Rea is quietly confident he can challenge for his first World Superbike Championship wins of the season at Imola after showing strong form en route to qualifying second on the grid.

The Ulsterman has been the closest challenger to pole sitter Tom Sykes over a single lap all weekend, the Ulsterman coming into Superpole having been quickest during FP1, Q2 and FP2.

Though he wouldn't have an answer to Sykes's superb pole position-winning lap, Rea was still comfortably faster than his other rivals around the Italian circuit as he secured a return to the front row aboard the Pata Honda.

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Looking ahead to the races, Rea - a winner at Imola two years ago - admits he is setting his sights on the ultimate prize come race day.

"I'm delighted to be on the front row because that's always the target for the weekend. I was feeling really strong in second qualifying and free practice earlier, making good set-up changes with the bike. I'm really enjoying riding the bike and I'm happy with our set-up for two 21-lap races tomorrow.

"It's never easy but I feel more comfortable with the bike here and I think we've put ourselves in a position to be able to challenge at the front. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to win, but I think we've got a race package that will allow us to challenge for that so I'll hope for good starts and two good races tomorrow