Bautista has won eight out of nine WorldSBK races so far this season, while Rea and Kawasaki have endured their worst start together since joining forces in 2015.

Rea has claimed just three podiums and is already over 100 points behind Bautista in the standings, which is more than any stage last season.

But after showing more speed in Assen, albeit Rea ended his weekend with a crash in Race 2 when trying to push on with Bautista and Toprak Razgatlioglu, the Kawasaki rider should have an extra boost in Catalunya.

Beating Bautista won’t be easy given his dominance at most tracks, but also Catalunya as the world champion completed a stunning hat-trick at the Spanish venue last season, however, Rea will have his hands on a new chassis for round four this weekend. 

Speaking about the weekend, which is the first time this season he’s not ‘pessimistic to starts’, Rea added: "When the temperatures rise, this is a circuit that consumes the front quite a lot and it’s an area we can’t hide behind and it’s a weak spot of the bike. 

"We had a great test a few weeks ago where we learnt a lot and we found that at Assen, the bike was working quite well too. 

"We have some new parts that have arrived; chassis items that we hope to be able to help in this area. It’s a new item that we haven’t had the option to test; it’s a chassis component which gives us more parameters to move the bike in. 

"Kudos to all the crew and for Kawasaki reacting. We just need to understand on Friday morning that if this compromise allows us to be fast. 

"Everyone’s been working so hard to try and improve the bike. Let’s see what the weekend brings, I’m not pessimistic to start." 

Mixed feelings for Lowes heading into team’s home WorldSBK round

Like Rea, Alex Lowes showed impressive speed at times in Assen but was unable to finish any higher than P4.

"I always have mixed feelings with Montmelo because we did a test there recently," began Lowes. "It is one of the most enjoyable tracks to ride around, with lots of long corners. 

"I did a Kawasaki PR day there, riding a Z900, and it was so much fun. But it is probably not the perfect layout for our bike with those long corners, and tyre degradation is quite high. 

"But, we had a good test with our WorldSBK bike there. I had a good setting with the bike, I feel good on the bike and I am looking forward to the team’s home race to try and challenge for the podium."