If you enjoyed reading this article, please click here to view it on Kropotkin's site, MotoGP Matters. ----------------- Jonathan Rea may have been beaten in Australia but he's ready to come out swinging in Thailand The opening round of the 2019 WorldSBK season saw Alvaro Bautista dominate proceedings, and for many it seemed as though there was a changing of the guard in the championship. After four years of unparalleled dominance, Jonathan Rea was spectacularly put in his place by the Spanish MotoGP refugee. It was stunning and cathartic for a championship that has seen Rea rewrite the history books. It was easy to read the tea leaves leaving Australia that Rea is going to face his toughest yet in 2019. Unfortunately for his rivals, we also left Australia 12 months ago with Rea scratching his head after a difficult weekend, even further adrift of the championship leader. That season ended with the most dominant campaign in WorldSBK history. Australia was a weekend full of challenges. From the two day test prior to the race weekend, it was clear that Rea was struggling. He couldn't find a balance with the bike and he kept his powder dry on the second day. Not willing to use a new tire and try and set a fast time, he also didn't undertake his usual race simulations. It was clear Rea was on the ropes for Round One.