PATA Honda's Jonathan Rea says he is 'disappointed' to be down the order following the first day of free practice around the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.

The WSBK title contender, who has some experience of the Asian venue having tested a MotoGP bike there in 2010, ended the day with the eighth fastest time, seven tenths down on pace setter Sylvain Guintoli.

Putting part of the blame down on 'engine cutting' at full throttle down Sepang's long home and back straights, Rea says he is losing around half a second of that margin in the final sector alone.

Related Articles

"It's disappointing to be this far off on day one. We were able to improve our time with a new rear tyre but generally our base speed needs to improve. The good thing is that it felt quite comfortable when I did my fastest lap.

"The changes we are making on the chassis are going the right way but we have some engine cutting along the straights when I'm on full throttle. We need to look at that problem because at a track like Sepang it's quite a disadvantage. I think I'm losing about half a second in the last sector, which includes the back straight. Hopefully tomorrow we can do a better job."

Team-mate Leon Haslam, meanwhile, faces a task ahead of FP3 after only managing the 11th best time, which currently puts him out of automatic SP2 contention.

"Not a great day, to be honest. We tried a few radical changes on the chassis and we're still finding our way with that. I've had a problem with power delivery today and ran out of time this afternoon. I had a grip problem as well and the one new tyre I tried was spinning up everywhere."