Jonathan Rea is thrilled to establish his best-ever feeling on a bike at Donington Park after uncovering gains with his Kawasaki ZX-10R having ended Friday free practice narrowly behind team-mate Tom Sykes.

The reigning World Superbike champion gradually chipped away at his top times to move within one-tenth of Sykes and feels despite his team-mate still being the reference point he's been able to find a set-up he can be confident with after battling with the balance on the new ZX-10R.

"I'm really happy because we've been tipping the bike upside down, left, right, forwards, backwards and it seems this weekend we've been more consistent from my feeling," Rea said. "I'm not exactly sure why. It feels like this weekend is the best I've ever felt at Donington. Things are happening easier than before so I can be clearer with my comments.

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"Tom is always able to find that little bit extra when we come to Donington so I guess he is the reference the weekend. I'm really happy. Kawasaki look to be really strong here because last year we got a one-two and the bike is working again quite strong this weekend."

Despite targeting Sykes as the rider to beat at Donington, especially as the Huddersfield rider is on a six-race win streak at the track, Rea is also wary of the threat other manufacturers pose with Davide Giugliano on the Ducati just four-tenths back on the pair.

"We have to be open-minded because our competition is really strong and we have to respect everyone," he said. "I'm feeling good so hopefully tomorrow we can improve another little step and it can be a nice race."