The six-time WorldSBK champion remains winless through the opening five rounds of the 2023 season, and more worryingly than that, has been nowhere near the fight for victory in recent races. 

Rea was once again a bit-part player when it came to the latest WorldSBK round at Misano, finishing fifth on two occasions before claiming P4 in Race 2.

Had Michael Ruben Rinaldi not crashed out of third, then a hat-trick of fifth place finishes was beckoning for Rea, who was unable to challenge Axel Bassani ahead of him as the race developed.

Speaking to, Rea said: "It’s our reality now, we have to forget the past, the past is the past. We’ve been riding the same bike now as we had many years ago. 

"Everyone’s going faster but we’re scratching the barrel to improve ourselves, and we are improving, that’s the thing.

"Instead of being happy with a race win, we have to be content with fifth and know we have to work. 

"I don’t like this question every time you ask, ‘how does it feel?’, we are where we are and it’s our reality right now. We have to improve the whole package. 

"We have to stop expecting to win and to be on the podium every weekend, it’s tough to be there. We need to improve; this is our reality.”

When discussing the sizable gap to Ducati and Bautista in particular, Rea admitted the current situation at Kawasaki cannot go on. 

"We closed the gap to Locatelli in the Championship, as much as that’s a small win," began Rea. "We stayed upright all weekend, and we didn’t test here and arrived quite far behind. 

"Step by step, I went 5th, 5th, 4th. The gap to the front is too big… this is the situation. What we can’t accept is be the same pace and race time as last year, we need to be better, and we weren’t."

Could Bassani join Rea at Kawasaki for 2024 WorldSBK season?

With uncertainty surrounding Alex Lowes’ future with the team, and Axel Bassani desperate to hop aboard a full factory bike, the Italian could be a contender to join the rider he was battling throughout the Misano races.

Hard but fair battles, Bassani came out victorious in their duels in all three races, however, the Italian still believes he could learn a lot from being Rea’s teammate.

Bassani said: "It’s OK! Jonny has a lot of experience, he’s a really good guy. For me, a legend and the best rider in WorldSBK. 

"I’m happy to ride with him and when I beat him! If he was my teammate, then no problem. I have a lot of things to understand from him."