The six-time WorldSBK champion has seen his title hopes fade drastically in recent rounds, so much so that Bautista needs to outscore Rea by just one point in Mandalika to eliminate him from contention. 

After winning five of the first nine races, Rea has failed to win any of the last 21, all of which have been won by either Toprak Razgatlioglu or Bautista. 

Only mistakes from Razgatlioglu and Bautista - that’s not including Magny-Cours where Rea took Bautista out of the race - have left Rea in with the smallest of chances with two rounds to go.

But to win a seventh title Rea would need to complete hat-tricks in Mandalika and Phillip Island and rely on Bautista failing to score in nearly all of the remaining races.

So with that in mind, Rea has shifted his focus away from the title fight and instead on performing at his best in Mandalika, a round where he won both races last season - the Superpole Race was cancelled due to heavy rain. 

"We’ll try to bring last year’s positive vibes here this year. We’ve improved since last year, the problem is everyone else has improved too," said Rea. 

"We need to see where we stack up tomorrow; with the track being resurfaced, Friday will be about understanding conditions, getting laps and cleaning the track, not making big setup calls. 

"I’m empty-headed about any goal this weekend; thinking about the Championship is a bit ridiculous now. Alvaro has done an incredible job. 

"I’ll focus on myself and I’m going out to do the best I can this weekend."

Returning to WorldSBK in 2023 is Tom Sykes with the Puccetti Kawasaki outfit, and although their relationship as teammates was far from easy between 2015 to 2018, Rea has called Sykes an ‘incredible competitor’. 

Rea added: "It’s nice for Tom Sykes to come back to the Championship as he’s an incredible competitor, but in terms of development, he’s such a unique rider that there’s not much resemblance to how I ride or develop the bike. 

"I’ll continue working with my team and especially Alex and our crews, to develop the ZX-10RR through the winter."