Defending champion Sylvain Guintoli insists he is finding his form on the PATA Honda, but admits it is 'taking more time' than he originally hoped.

Last year's World Superbike title winner with Aprilia, Guintoli replaced Jonathan Rea at PATA Honda over the winter but has struggled to mount a similar front running challenge during the opening four rounds.

Though his issues have been exacerbated by a shoulder injury sustained in pre-season testing, Guintoli was still comfortably out-performed by new team-mate Michael van der Mark in Assen, twelve months after he took a win for Aprilia.

Related Articles

Despite this, Guintoli insists he is finding positives on the CBR1000and maintains that it is 'only little details' that will unlock his potential.

"It's been a struggle over the weekend but we have actually come away from both races with some positives," the Frenchman, who is sixth in the standings, said. "My feeling with the CBR is definitely getting better - it's just taking more time than we thought. In race two I was able to keep the pace better for much longer and I was actually quite close to the leading group.

"We'll take that with us to Imola and keep trying to improve that feeling. We're basically working on little details and the way I'm riding the bike. It's taking time to change the way I'm doing things and then dialling in and starting to use the bike properly. But I really feel we're not far away now so this is the really good news!"

Guintoli and Honda's troubles have been magnified by the performance of its former riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam, which are currently classified first and second in the standings on Kawasaki and Aprilia machinery.