Checa full of praise for Rea

The 28-year-old Rea made the switch to Kawasaki ahead of the 2015 campaign following seven seasons with Honda. The move has paid immediate dividends, with the Ulsterman currently topping the standings after two races, having recorded victories in three of the season's first four races.

Speaking to the official MotoGP website, Checa was full of praise for Rea.

"He is one of the best riders on the grid and is finally demonstrating that to the full, now that he has a fully competitive bike at his disposal," the Spaniard said of Rea.

"The Honda obviously had its limitations and he spent a lot of time on it, but now he has a very good bike with the Kawasaki. He has started the season really strongly."

Checa called time on his racing career at the end of the 2013 campaign, and insists that unlike Troy Bayliss who recently made a brief comeback to WSBK, he has not intentions of getting back on the track.

"I’ll tell you in three years’ time [laughs]! No, no…I made it very clear when I retired that I was retiring for good. I retired wanting to retire, very conscious of the decision I was making and knowing that I wouldn’t return to competition. I maintain this thought," he said.

"I am still enjoying the championship, but from a very different viewpoint! I think Bayliss was also keen to make some sort of comeback and in Australia he found himself with the opportunity. Personally, I wouldn’t have done it. But if you feel like doing something and you have the chance, it’s difficult to say no."