Jonathan Rea has claimed top spot on day one of World Superbike action in Jerez, while an injured Alex Lowes finished seventh on combined times.

Rea led the way for much of both free practice sessions before being overhauled by Toprak Razgatlioglu in FP1 and Michael Rinaldi in FP2. 

However, Rea put in the only sub 1m 40s lap time of the day to respond late on in FP2 and regain top spot by four tenths. 

Rea, who has just two wins out of his last 12 races - both in the Superpole format, tried a new set-up idea that’s ‘not revolutionary, but ‘is a step’ forward. 

"We started with a new set-up idea that we had from these last few races in the heat, trying to take some of the grip off the rear of the bike, to create more balance," added Rea. 

"We worked with that idea and near the end of FP1 we went back to what we used to have. That confirmed that the new idea was working. 

"In the afternoon we tried to do a longer run to understand my rhythm, to understand the tyre drop, and how the bike behaved. 

"It was very consistent, especially in the last sector where normally you face a big drop in the fast right corners. 

"That sector was very stable but the area where I am struggling the most is sector one. That is the main point of focus so we will check and see again tomorrow. What we did is not revolutionary, but it is a step."

On the other side of the Kawasaki garage, Alex Lowes had a ‘better than expected’ day as he continues to deal with pain in his right hand from a crash in Catalunya. 

Lowes, who was a doubt before the weekend began added: "The pain in my hand is about the same as I thought it would be but the control of the bike and the pace on the bike is a lot better than I expected. 

"The target of today was to see if it was worth the pain to maybe get an OK result and be competitive, and I feel I was competitive. 

"So that is one box ticked. I will make some recovery tonight and hopefully, if I can ride in these kind of positions, then we can be happy with the weekend. 

"In these cooler conditions the bike is working really well and I think that helped me quite a lot today. 

"Up until Tuesday I thought I might be sitting watching the Ryder Cup golf this weekend but I was good enough to keep trying."