Jonathan Rea believes Kawasaki’s strong points on traction and corner entry will be key at the next rounds of the World Superbike championship while he is keen to work with team-mate Leon Haslam to develop the ZX-10RR.

Rea has had to settle for another treble of second place finishes behind runaway leader Alvaro Bautista at Aragon to see the championship deficit extend to 39 points after the first three rounds.

Despite the continued pace deficit to Bautista, Rea will expect a stronger contest going into next week’s Assen round with the shorter straights theoretically denying the Spaniard the outright top speed advantage.

Rea says Kawasaki’s strong points should help at the upcoming circuits while he’s also pleased to see Haslam’s return to fighting in the front pack and provide comparable race data.

“It looks like our bike is really creating a lot of traction in the long corners, which is positive. Our corner entry is not so bad,” Rea said. “It was nice to see Leon in the front as well because our data becomes more relevant to compare and we can try to move the bike set-up forward together.

“It was a tougher Sunday than I expected and the strategy was different. Especially in the sprint race, I lost a lot of rear traction at the end. We think it was a consequence of being so fast in the beginning.

“During the 18-lap race I decided to be calmer in the beginning but when Alex Lowes came through he had a good pace with Chaz Davies. I started to panic a little bit that maybe these guys had an extra gear. And then Leon came past, so I had to step up and really use the tyre that I was conserving. My body language was a lot different at the end of the race because I really put my head down and maximised where we were strong.”

World Superbike organisers will also have the option to apply rev limit changes before the Assen round which is subject to current performance levels between each manufacturer.

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