Jonathan Rea is confident he and the Pata Honda team can begin the 2014 World Superbike Championship season from the very front as he looks to put a difficult 2013 season firmly behind him.

The Ulsterman, who is entering into his sixth consecutive season with the Ten Kate Racing-prepared Superbike team, endured a torrid 2013 as he struggled with persistent technical qualms on the CBR1000RR, before an accident at the Nurburgring saw him miss the final four races with a broken leg.

Speaking at the launch of Pata Honda's 2014 WSBK season at the Motor Bike Expo in Verona, Italy, Rea admits the leg is still uncomfortable to walk on, but is fine when riding.

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"It was quite difficult at times in 2013 and the season ended badly in injury, but my leg feels OK now. It's not quite 100 per cent and I have some discomfort walking on it, but on the bike it's fine. This team feels like a family to me now and knowing all the faces and how the team works helps me to get the best out of the package and the people around me.

Looking ahead, Rea, a winner at Silverstone last season to maintain his record of having achieved at least one win for Honda in each of the last five years, is confident the wealth of testing Honda will have completed by the opening round next month will put them in good stead.

"We all share the same goals but it feels like there's been a change of mentality for this season - everyone is even more focused than usual. By the time we get to Phillip Island we will have tested a lot, and we're really pushing hard, so I think that if anyone is in good shape to challenge at the front when the season starts, it'll be me and my team."