Jonathan Rea has had something of a tough introduction to the 2008 World Supersport championship - and the young Ulsterman was 'beating himself up' after a frustrating opening day of testing at Valencia last week, but it all came good after a 'big breakthrough' on day two.

The former BSB star, who fell at round one - bringing down team-mate Andrew Pitt in the process - before taking his first 2008 points with a close fifth at Phillip Island, left Valencia as the top Ten Kate rider after lapping 0.4secs from joint fastest men Gianluca Nannelli and Massimo Roccoli.

"We struggled quite a lot [on day one] with nothing really. The bike felt really good but the lap times weren't improving and I was beating myself up about that," admitted Rea. "[On day two] I got the enjoyment factor installed again and rode with a smile.

"We had a big breakthrough with the setup for which I want to thank my mechanics Gert and Michel. They put in a lot of work and helped me go out there with a different attitude.

"[On day one] we were 1.1 seconds off the fastest lap time and [on day two] only 0.4. We managed to do a full race distance and show consistency throughout so everything is positive really and I'm leaving here with a good feeling," he concluded.

Pitt was robbed of the chance to put in some hot laps at the end of the test due to accidents, but still finished within 0.3secs of Rea.

"It's been a good session, unfortunately at the end of the session there was a crashed bike on the track and the marshals tried to stop me while I was on my best lap," confirmed the Australian. "We made an improvement with the new tyre, which we had been struggling to do earlier.

"The race pace is really good, I did a 16 lap run on one tyre and still managed to stay in the 1min 37s until the end which shows how competitive we can be. We made a bit of progress on the qualifying, so I am happy with the results and am confidently looking forward to the next race," added the Phillip Island race winner.

"The results we've achieved here are very satisfying for the team," declared team manager Ronald ten Kate. "Both riders have proven to be capable of putting in consistent laps on a race distance, which will be important for the race here. We were faster compared to last year's race pace, but both riders still seem to struggle to force out that single fast lap on the qualifiers, its just not coming. We will make some small improvements on the bikes before the next race but overall we are ready and hopefully capable of bringing both riders to the podium."

The Valencia round of the 2008 World Supersport Championship will take place on April 6.

 

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