Jonathan Rea says he expects he can improve his PATA Honda in time for Superpole after ending the first day of free practice at Assen in second position.

Competing at his adopted home circuit - where his Ten Kate Racing team is based -, Rea was straight up to speed in FP1, setting the fastest time of the session, before proceeding to flirt with the top spot in FP2 as well.

Though he wouldn't quite have an answer to Davide Giugliano's dominant 1min 35.396secs lap, as the only other rider to break 1min 36secs, Rea was pleased with his start to the weekend.

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"It's been a dry, sunny afternoon at Assen, which we needed because the forecast is saying the weather is going to be changeable over the weekend, so it's good to get some dry laps under our belts," he said. "The CBR has moved on a lot since last season and we arrived here with a set-up from Aragon; but I suffered a bit from a lack of front-end feeling and the bike felt quite foreign. We'll go back to more of a front set-up from last year's race which I was quite comfortable with.

"On the engine brake side we still need to make some progress because in the later stages of my runs I was getting pushed into the corners a bit. We'll check the data tonight to see if that's coming from the electronics or the chassis but for day one I think we can be quite satisfied.

"We're on the pace but we can still improve the bike. I hope the weather conditions stay stable for the weekend, as much for the fans as for us. We're expecting a lot of home support for the Pata Honda team so we'll aim for the front row tomorrow, while working on a good race set-up."

Returning to the scene of his leg break twelve months ago, Leon Haslam spent much of his day in the lower fringes of the top ten, eventually ending the session in tenth.

"We started with quite a different engine brake strategy this morning because it was too inconsistent at Aragon. It took quite a bit of setting up and we're still getting used to it a bit. It's not working too bad but when we put a new tyre in it didn't feel quite right.

"I'm not sure if that was a bad tyre or we just couldn't maximise what we had, so we've still got a few things to sort out. We've made a few changes to the chassis today, but it's interfering with what we're trying to get from the electronics, so there's more to do there tomorrow, as well. There's still a way to go but we're not a million miles away and we're making progress."