Jonathan Rea has intimated that he was lucky to qualify fourth for the eighth round of the World Superbike Championship the Moscow Raceway after receiving a 'bad tyre' in SP1.

The Ulsterman was forced to complete another lap to save himself from the drop zone in SP1, which he originally put down to a change of setting on the Pata Honda. However, when he proceeded to go significantly faster in SP2 on the same type of tyre, it was discovered the tyre batches had different numbers.

Claiming there to be 'real consistency issues' with the Pirelli-made tyres, Rea was nonetheless content to just miss the front row despite losing time down the long home straight.

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"We made a pretty big set-up change for today but it was wet this morning and conditions in free practice were not perfect, either. So, Superpole 1 was the first time we got to try it properly on a race tyre. It didn't feel right straight away, so I was questioning the changes.

"But we stuck with it for Superpole 2 and I went nine tenths quicker on the same code of tyre, which also looked much grippier on the data. When we checked the tyre batch numbers, they were completely different, so there's a real consistency issue there.

"I wanted to be on the front row today but it wasn't to be. I struggled a lot on the straight, but I think the guys can put in a fresh engine tonight, which should put us back in the ball-park for speed tomorrow. They've done a good job with the bike in the technical sectors where CBR's working well and I think I'm riding pretty well.

"Tomorrow I need two clean starts because it's hard to pass here. We&rsquo ;ve done some good work on old tyres, but the front is still a question mark because I've been between the hard and the medium all weekend, so that's a decision we'll have to make tonight."

Tyre supplier Pirelli have been under pressure in recent weeks due to inconsistent tyre supplies, highlighted most recently when Marco Melandri could only struggle to a 12th place finish in Portimao due to defective rear tyre.