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Jonathan Rea says he's learnt the 'critical areas to be strong' towards the end of races as he looks to make amends having lost his perfect winning record in 2017 at Aragon.

After five wins from the opening five races, Rea's run was wrecked by Chaz Davies when the Aruba.it Racing Ducati rider reeled in the defending World Superbike championship to clinch victory in race two at Aragon last time out.

As well as confirming new suspension settings on his factory Kawasaki ZX-10RR at Assen, Rea focused on race pace and is confident lap time gains found over at the end of a race distance will give him a stronger fight in the closing laps.

Rea topped Friday's FP2 and was quickest on the combined times with a best lap of 1m 35.383s to pull out a tenth of a second on Davies. The defending World Superbike champion also demonstrated strong race pace and is confident of extending his title lead at Assen.

"I am really satisfied with today as we managed to set up the bike a little bit in the morning and confirm some suspension items we have been testing recently, in Motorland Aragon and Portimao," Rea said. "Once we confirmed those, in the afternoon we decided to make a long run with some of the new Pirelli tyre options that they brought for both the front and the rear. I rolled out of that simulation after half distance and came into the pits.

"We tried another set of tyres and went back to the morning settings, which had different final gear ratios and were a little bit softer in the suspension. I felt a little bit more comfortable then. I made a pretty much a full race simulation at a pace I feel quite satisfied with.

"After gaining that knowledge I know exactly the critical areas to improve to be strong at the end of the races. As far as Fridays go, today's has been a positive one."

Rea produced a dominant double victory at Assen last year and has a total of nine World Superbike career race wins at the iconic Dutch circuit. He holds a 50-point advantage after the opening three rounds on nearest rival Davies.

 

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