Jonathan Rea was pleased with his performance on the opening day of free practice in Spain ahead of the ninth World Superbike Championship round at Jerez, even if he felt tenth best doesn't reflect his form.

Using just one set of tyres throughout the afternoon session the Ulsterman - who has never raced a Superbike in Jerez before - felt that the competitiveness of his PATA Honda around Jerez wasn't completely evident as he focused on set-up.

However, with a gap of four tenths to the pace setting Loris Baz - and just two tenths to the top three -, Rea feels he is well placed for the remainder of the weekend.

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"Today was good, but the position doesn't really reflect the progress that we've made," Rea told Crash.net. "We're in tenth place but actually quite close to the front and we're working with the bike. I'm still not happy, in the high temperatures at the start of the session I was really competitive but at the end I stayed on the same tyres whereas others leapfrogged me with a fresh set of tyres.

"Pirelli has brought this new tyre for this weekend for the hotter temperatures and my team-mate used it and it looks quite strong [Leon Haslam was fourth fastest] so tomorrow we'll check that. Today we lacked a little bit of front feeling and grip but I think that everybody is struggling for grip."

The high temperature Pirelli tyres were not the only new additions for Rea to deal with on Friday with the Pata Honda also sporting an updated engine and new brake components following the summer break.

"We've got a new engine specification and today so we had to change a lot of electronics to optimise that and also Nissin Brakes have brought some new components to test as well so the bike is constantly evolving and becoming more and more competitive."

Meanwhile, Rea's future remains a talking point following the summer break, with the most recent speculation linking him to a switch from Honda to Kawasaki in WSBK alongside Tom Sykes, while a possible move into MotoGP with Aspar Honda hasn't been entirely ruled out either.

Even so, Rea refused to be drawn on the rumours, simply stating, 'I can't talk about my future'.