Jonathan Rea was left pleasantly surprised to be on team-mate Tom Sykes’ tail after the opening day at Donington Park.
The reigning World Champion was just 0.039 seconds off Sykes’ fastest time after the day’s two practice sessions at the 2.498mile Leicestershire circuit and is confident of taking a further step forward ahead of tomorrow’s opening race.
“The direction we’ve gone in the last few races, I’m feeling like I’m much more comfortable on the bike,” said Rea after the session. “Today was much less stressful, usually we’re turning the bike upside down between sessions and today we’ve just been chipping away at a base setting, working a bit with electronics and Pirelli have brought a new option race tyre so we’ve been trying that too.
“For a Friday I feel quite positive, especially to be so close to the fastest lap time of the day and I feel we can still improve a bit more tomorrow.
“We need to work on the front feeling a bit more, especially closing the line. Braking stability feels quite good but just that entry to the corner is a bit off. I tried another option front tyre at the end of the session and I went really fast with it but I didn’t have a good feeling, so it’s just trying to understand that. Not necessarily to go any faster but to bring a better feeling to it.”