The Kawasaki rider, who lost the lead to Razgatlioglu going into turn one, was then pushed down to third after trying to hang around the outside of the Yamaha rider into the chicane [lap two].

It was an ambitious move that left Rea compromised on corner exit, thus allowing team-mate Alex Lowes and Alvaro Bautista to get ahead.

Rea was then bumped down to fifth by Honda’s Iker Lecuona after braking too late for the Melbourne Loop.

Carl Fogarty EXCLUSIVE interview | Crash.Net WorldSBK

Despite his disappointing start to a race that promised so much, Rea recovered to claim P2 and with it a haul of 20 points that could prove to be very important later in the season.

It looked as though the KRT rider would need to settle for third, but after Bautista’s crash at the final corner, the pole sitter went from a potential scenario of dropping points to the Spaniard to now being 16 behind. 

"In the beginning it was a little bit of a mess in the first few laps. I tried to get track position as fast as I could and I really trusted myself to go to the front," said Rea. 

"I didn’t think that today Toprak [Razgatlioglu] had that sort of rhythm. If I was to do the race again I would have focused on staying behind him and let him do the job [of leading]. 

"I compromised myself going into the chicane on the first lap and I lost track position. He did a few solid laps to break the group and when I did get track position I had Alvaro dive-bombing me into the chicane and under the brakes into the Melbourne Loop. 

"It was one of them where on my own I felt I could be okay but when he [Bautista] went down, Toprak had much better rhythm and I had nothing left at the end. I really struggled with the rear grip."

Rea doesn’t believe he could have challenged Razgatlioglu, even with a better start  

Rea added: "There’s no doubt that I would have stayed there for a long time but in the end we suffered today. 

"I don’t see a change in the result, I think we need to change the bike a bit. There’s no excuses and the right guy won the race. We need to improve and it’s as simple as that." 

'Intention' was to catch Razgatlioglu, not 'defend' from Bautista

Once Rea got ahead of Bautista there was a two second gap between himself and Razgatlioglu.

But rather than closing in on the Turkish star, Rea started to come under pressure from Bautista before a mistake at the final corner allowed the Ducati rider to get ahead. 

Despite that, Rea was at no point thinking about defending during race one: "My intention was to try and attack because you never know. 

"I wasn’t thinking of defending against Alvaro, I was just thinking about Toprak but I rode into some mistakes and then it doesn’t help when Alvaro’s messing about, being there in the chicane and alongside because you can’t really do your rhythm. 

"The strategy from him worked and I was in trouble in the early laps so he was able to make a gap and ultimately that decided the race."