Jonathan Rea may be starting from a position other than pole for the first time in his brief Kawasaki career but the Northern Irishman feels his race pace is 'super consistent.'

The 28-year old put in the fourth fastest time in Saturday's Superpole 2 session but was content with his consistency in the day's earlier free practice sessions.

"I honestly felt good but just not good enough," he said on Saturday evening. "It's a little bit strange, this circuit. We're using the tyre more than in Thailand. We're more conservative and trying to look after it more. For the race my run in FP4 I was really happy with.

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Now I think we're in a good position but it's difficult. I look at my team-mate who never, ever does a long run. It's always one lap fast, one lap slow. It's difficult to know the true potential of everybody."

Having taken 95 points from a possible 100 in the first two rounds, Rea is expecting a challenge to come from Ducati's Chaz Davies. Tom Sykes, the man on the other side of the Kawasaki garage, Rea admits, is still a bit of an unknown.

"Me and Davies did runs with the same tyre and we're competitive, maybe a little bit more than the others. At the end of my run I was not super fast but super consistent.

I honestly don't know how he [Sykes] is attacking the session. He looks a lot stronger than Thailand and Australia. On TV I thought, 'Wow, he's really pushing.' So maybe there's not so much left. Like I said from the beginning the race is completely different because you have to manage.

I'm really comfortable doing my pace right now but maybe to be right at the front and to challenge for the win we'll need to find more. I think my problem now is the bike isn't turning enough so I'm using the gas much more to turn which uses the tyre up."