Jonathan Rea says he heads to the second round of the 2015 World Superbike Championship with even greater confidence following his better-than-expected race-winning Kawasaki debut in Australia.

The Ulsterman marked his much anticipated first appearance in 'green' with a remarkable victory at Phillip Island, while second place in the follow-up sees him take a shared lead with Aprilia's Leon Haslam to round two.

Even so, the second event marks a new challenge for all riders as World Superbikes heads to Thailand for the first time at the new Chang International Circuit in Buriram.

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Though Rea - or any other rider - is yet to sample the venue as yet, Rea says the way Kawasaki responded to 'problems' in the run up to race day in Australia gives him confidence he will be up front again in the Asian race.

"To be honest we had a much better start in Australia then we imagined," he said. "I know we were quite reserved with targets at Phillip Island as it had not been a circuit that has favoured the bike but we managed the set-up quite well. I was surprised with our pace.

"What I did learn was that all week we had been having some problems but Pere, Paolo and the guys at Showa worked it out and on race-day we had a package to ride a strong 22 laps each time. That really impressed me. In the end I had a bike that I was really happy with. That gives me a little extra confidence now and because things are still reasonably fresh for me, to have that feeling is good.

"I have been in Thailand for a while and I always had a plan to come out for a week before the race. We never got to go on a family holiday last year so we are taking a few days here to recharge the batteries ready for round two, and to get acclimatised to the conditions a little."


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I agree Sykes is on a lower level compared to Rea.

in a Stoner/Ducati way, how many titles would Rea have won by now if he had got off that bloody Fireblade?

Checa had rings run round him on the 'blade by Rea, then jumped on a Ducati and won the championship.