For Rea, the lack of performance over full race distance has resulted in his worst start to a WorldSBK season since joining Kawasaki in 2015.

On the other hand, Bautista has become even more dominant than his title winning season after winning 11 of the first 12 races.

But Rea is not looking at past results and instead wants to become a factor in Misano after making improvements during a recent Jerez test.


Rea, who also spoke about Toprak Razgatlioglu’s shock move to BMW ahead of Misano, began by saying: "It’s always very hard to know how positive a test is when you’re testing solo. Jerez has never been a great track for us. 

"It was a good time to go there when we were guaranteed some hot conditions in the south of Spain and put together a package that we thought would improve our weak areas, which is when we’re in hot conditions we’re overloading the front tyre. 

"The team came with some ideas and the positive thing is we left the test doing race simulations with the softer front and some good sensations. 

"Of course, we have to take that to another track and also keep in mind that we need to compare ourselves to our reference which is our competitors. 

"Toprak’s an incredible talent and super-fast so maybe he’s the missing link to put BMW at the front. I’m sure it’s going to be a very exciting challenge for him."

While Misano should present the likes of Razgatlioglu and Rea with opportunities to at least fight Bautista more consistently than the previous four rounds, the world champion remains the favourite.

The Ducati rider has been excellent in all areas so far this season, as his confidence with the new Panigale V4 R has shown no signs of slowing down.

"It’s always very special to race here at Misano; it’s a special race for Ducati with it being a home race and it’s always nice to share the weekend with the Ducatisti and the Tifosi," added Bautista. 

"I’m very confident for the weekend ahead. Our target is to try and find the feeling we have with the bike from the first rounds of the season. 

"I’m looking forward to it and I’m quite motivated. You want to do well in front of all of the Ducati fans for their home race, but you also feel their support."