Usually a rider who gets stronger as the weekend goes on, the Misano WorldSBK round was anything but that for Rea as Kawasaki’s performance instead tailed off. 

Rea fell out of contention during the Superpole race as both Bautista and Toprak Razgatlioglu gapped the Kawasaki rider with ease. Instead, Rea faced late pressure from Xavi Vierge who was taking full advantage of his bold decision to use the qualifying tyre. .

And while he maintained the podium spot, that was not the case in race two as Rea was beaten to third courtesy of a stunning effort from Michael Ruben Rinaldi - the Italian started tenth.

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"I felt at the beginning of the Superpole Race I was OK but as soon as the pace stepped up I couldn’t really go with Toprak," said Rea. 

"He was on it and had a really good rhythm. Then with Alvaro as soon as he got clear track, he was gone."

Extracting the maximum ‘wasn’t enough’ for a ‘frustrated’ Rea 

While two podiums and a fourth would be a great return for most riders, Rea is in the midst of another tough championship battle, and one where Bautista is beginning to get the better of both he and Razgatlioglu when it counts. 

Hence the disappointment for Rea: “I felt that I was riding to get the maximum from the bike, but it wasn’t enough. I was getting frustrated because they were just going away. 

"In the long race I was fourth in T1 but then I got track position behind Toprak and Alvaro. I just settled into a rhythm I thought was OK. I was really struggling with entering corners, with sliding that was causing the front to chatter. I just had a pace that wasn’t good enough and struggled with grip. 

"I had 2-3-4 race finishes for the weekend and we go out of here in one piece, with some points. 

"I think we maximised what we could do. When I raced with Alvaro out there I didn’t feel I had anything for him, to be honest. He was on a different level here. We will see what happens in Donington."

Lowes suffers another difficult WorldSBK outing

On a weekend which appeared difficult for Kawasaki, Alex Lowes again shone brightly in qualifying after claiming P4. 

And although that was backed up by a strong fifth place finish in race one, various incidents during Sunday's races resulted in him failing to get the most from his ZX-10RR.

After passing under yellow flags during the 10-lap sprint, Lowes cost himself another two places on the final lap of race two after exceeding track limits on multiple occasions. 

Lowes said: "What a shame that was. It was clearly tough conditions for us and our bike. I thought I had made a step but starting from the third row in the second race wasn’t going to be easy. 

"I was in the battle for fifth but unfortunately I passed under a yellow flag, so when I raised my hand to let Lecuona go past, Lecuona and Bassani passed me, which put me further back again. 

"I felt my pace was stronger than theirs but I just couldn’t get a rhythm. I couldn’t pass. That was the biggest thing. I felt like I rode pretty well."

While notifications of Lowes exceeding track limits were appearing on the live feed, the Kawasaki rider claimed he was not receiving the same information, just the news of his penalty.

"A shame about the long lap but I didn’t get a warning on my dash display, just the long-lap penalty," added the British rider. 

"If I had a warning I would have known not to go back on the green paint. The first long lap penalty for me in a race, so that was a new one, but it dropped us back and we finished eighth. 

"Right now our bike is not loving the really hot sticky conditions, so we need to put our heads together and try to work on that. But I felt I did a good job."