Jonathan Rea says he has never been in a better position at the start of a World Superbike Championship season as he prepares to make his much anticipated bow as a Kawasaki rider.

The Ulsterman, who joins Kawasaki after six years with Ten Kate Honda, mirrored his position on the second day of WSBK testing in Phillip Island, posting the second best lap just a few hundredths from pace setter Alex Lowes.

Despite the quick time, Rea says he was focused on getting good race pace from the ZX-10R and though he maintains there is an 'unknown' quality to the hierarchy heading into the opening weekend, he is very happy with his preparations.

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"I am happy to go into race weekend like this, although we still have some things to work on. It is just a bit of an unknown really so I am just working with my guys on the bike and trying to focus on going as fast as we can for all 20-laps.

"I was able to do a long run today and was able to keep most of the laps in the 1'31s. I do not know how competitive that is going to be but for now it is a start and we have that information to work with. We have done all the testing we can do, so I am happy that race weekend is coming.

"All the anticipation and excitement is there but we do not have to wait long now. I am looking forward to the lights going out on race day. Definitely, this is the best position we have ever been in at the start of a season."

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What shame for HRC to lose Rea, and for them to focus all their efforts in MotoGP and quite possibly too late on the development of the CBR 1000 replacement. The current model is now 7 years old, how to they expect it to fight against the more modern Aprilia and Kawasaki's. They should have the RC213V-rs the replacement for the CBR 1000, remove the carbon fiber, ohlins and other titanium parts and replace them with ABS plastic, SHOWA's and other conventional materials and price it in the same region as a RSV or 1299 and use it on wsbK.