Jonathan Rea remains in contention towards the head of the World Superbike Championship standings after picking up solid points on a Sepang weekend he otherwise struggled.

Unable to get the bike dialled into the Malaysian circuit from the off on Friday, Rea was anticipating a difficult task from tenth on the grid even before he was caught up in the first corner melee that left him down in last position.

Fighting his way up to sixth place, a result he would go on to repeat in a less eventful second race, Rea's respectable points' haul keeps him within striking distance of the championship lead at 22 points.

Related Articles

However, though the Ulsterman was satisfied with the gains made through the weekend, he says his PATA Honda is still struggling with its troublesome engine braking problems.

"It's been a very tough weekend and it's not where we want to be. But we kind of made some steps forward when it mattered, especially in race two when I was able to carry a much better pace than I have all weekend in the heat.

"It seems our engine braking system is too sensitive to different conditions and different circuits, which is frustrating because when I had grip at the beginning I had no problem entering the corners but at the end of the race I had a lot of chatter from the rear when the grip went down.

"I really enjoyed riding this track, even though we didn't get the full potential out of the CBR this weekend. I look forward to the next race at Misano because it's a circuit that I love."