Jonathan Rea cast a downbeat figure following qualifying for the seventh World Superbike Championship round at Misano, the Ulsterman frustrated that he isn't as competitive as he had expected to be.

Persistent issues with engine braking were once again the reason for Rea's struggles to get the PATA Honda up to speed in practice and Superpole, Rea suffering a technical issue and a crash in FP3 and FP4 before qualifying in eighth position on row three.

A lower grid position than he had anticipated, though Rea admits it is as high as the bike seems capable of this weekend, he says he doesn't want to be riding around at the bottom end of the top ten come the races.

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"I'm quite frustrated with this weekend because we thought Misano would be good for us," he said. "But when grip levels drop we really seem to struggle with engine brake issues. We're having to tune the system for each circuit at the moment and don't really have a good base setting. We haven't been able to put our finger on the problem because we we're OK with fresh tyres in the bike.

"I feel a bit better for the races tomorrow but eighth seems to be where I've been all weekend and I don't want to be riding around for that again tomorrow. We need to engineer ourselves out of this position and try to find balance to get a smoother sensation from closing throttle to the corner apex and to keep the wheels in line.

"The crash that I had at the end of practice this morning showed the problem clearly on the data so we know where to concentrate our efforts. We've not been getting the best out of the bike this weekend but we'll go out tomorrow and give it everything."