Lowes took the lead from Rea after passing his team-mate, Toprak Razgatlioglu and WorldSBK champion Alvaro Bautista in quick succession.

And after pulling clear of Rea by over half a second, Lowes seemed to be in complete control at a venue where he took his last WorldSBK victory in 2020. 

But as Rea and Razgatlioglu made a quick decision to pit on lap 10, Lowes instead chose to complete another two laps before heading down pit lane. 

It meant the Kawasaki rider lost places to all three riders mentioned and Andrea Locatelli before moving back up to third late on. 

Lowes said: "I didn’t expect it to dry as fast as it did. The race at the start, when I went off the start, it was a lot drier. The warm up lap was a lot drier than when we went to the grid. 

"I needed to be careful so I was trying to be smooth on the wet tyres, then I realised there was a dry line appearing so I tried to use the wet tyre a lot because I knew, at some point, we had to make a pit stop. 

"I probably pitted one or two laps too late but when I got out on the dry tyres, I felt good straight away. 

"In general, I’m happy. I think I have a good chance tomorrow whatever the conditions are. Really happy for the team and Jonathan getting back on the top step of the podium, me back on the podium."

While leading a race is usually an advantage, being able to see what his rivals did was not something Lowes was privy to as the leader of the race. 

But with that said, the Kawasaki rider was left happy with his race after returning to the podium for the first time since Catalunya and being out in front, even if it cost him a race win. 

Asked if it was a disadvantage to lead at that point in the race, Lowes added: "I don’t know. In this situation, it’s always easy to look back and say you should do this or that. 

"I have to be happy with the decision we made. When you’re behind, it’s easier just to follow the guy in front and make the same decision as them. 

"I didn’t have this possibility; I only had the information I had. Maybe it’s a bit more difficult to be the first guy on track but I was enjoying being at the front."