Jonathan Rea says he is battling with an unusual lack of traction and grip at Jerez which caused his slip down to ninth on the timesheet after Friday practice.

The Kawasaki rider leads the World Superbike championship by 48 points and only needs to extend his advantage by a two further points to seal a second consecutive world title with a round to spare.

However, Rea has a battle ahead after only managing to go ninth quickest in FP2 at Jerez - albeit just three-tenths off of timesheet topper and title rival Tom Sykes - and blames a lack of traction for his lowly placing heading into the final practice session and qualifying.

"It seems like it is going okay but when we are looking for some improvement it is not coming," Rea said. "I feel I am riding well and the bike is behaving itself on the entry of the corner, and chassis-wise in general, but we are struggling everywhere with traction.

"We are having more spinning than we did here during testing and the electronics are cutting in everywhere in acceleration. So we just need to focus on that.

"I normally never struggle with traction and everywhere else on track the bike feels quite good. Consistently we are a couple of tenths off where we should be but there is just one main issue we need to focus on."

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