Jonathan Rea says heading into Superpole 1 has given him an additional hurdle at the Lausitzring but remains confident he has the pace to return to the front to defend his World Superbike championship lead.
The Kawasaki rider missed out on the top ten and an automatic place into Superpole 2 by 0.069s on Friday free practice in Germany and as a result will need to progress through the top two spots in Superpole 1 to be in the hunt for pole position.
Rea, who holds a 46-point championship lead going into this weekend, says 11th isn't suitable for his hopes of extending his advantage but won't be too worried ahead of the first qualifying stint tomorrow.
“It is not an ideal position to start the weekend from because it makes it more difficult tomorrow, having to go through Superpole 1 first, but it is how it is,” Rea said. “I did not have the best feeling when I got here and the bike is not turning so well in the long corners.
“We have tried some things but I do not think this position is a true reflection of our overall race speed. I feel quite comfortable and we just need to find some improvements in turning to be right at the front. I am half a second off the front and in 11th position.”
Despite his confidence, Rea is preparing for a challenging race weekend given how close the riders at the sharp end are to each other on the timesheet – with the top 11 riders covered by 0.547s.
“It looks like it will be a competitive weekend, which is good,” he said. “There should be a lot of people in the mix. Tonight, when we have more time to understand our data and my comments, we can make some positive changes to be ready for tomorrow.”