The six-time WorldSBK champion was dropped from fourth to fifth after improving his time under yellow flags, however, fifth then became eighth when he was deemed to have blocked the GoEleven Ducati rider.

Then in Race 1, Rea was part of an early battle at the front before quickly suffering with a lack of grip and confidence with his front-end.

The Kawasaki rider made several mistakes under braking which resulted in him going wide, while it also cost him positions to Xavi Vierge and Dominique Aegerter at different stages.

Following his difficult Sunday in Phillip Island, Rea’s early hopes of being a title contender took another hit as Alvaro Bautista took victory for the fourth time in four races this season. 

"Difficult day," said Rea. "With the lap I got cancelled in the Superpole and then the penalty I got for being in the way of Philipp Oettl - I’m really sorry about that. I was actually quite on it on that lap but Bassani disturbed me in the corners before and then I had to roll out of the gas. 

"As I was rolling out of the gas I looked around and he was there. Big apology and no excuses really. Just got involved in that melee with Rinaldi at turn one, but was there and I got back to Locatelli where I thought I was going to race; with Locatelli and Toprak. 

"All the sectors were quite okay except sector two with this section of right handers. I lost all my confidence going through there. 

"The angle on the gas, the front was just moving and you would commit to turn seven with no front stability to turn there. It was just a fight for position and not great for us. That was my race."

Although Rea managed to finish ahead of teammate Alex Lowes, the latter showed better pace for much of the race and appeared to not have quite the same front-end issues as Rea.

However, Rea remains upbeat about turning things around after saying his ZX-10RR works ‘seriously well’ when in the right window regarding set-up.

"When my bike is working well, it’s seriously working well, has grip, everything is in balance and I can make the difference," added Rea. 

"But when the front tyre is destroyed you can’t make the difference. You can’t push the bike like you want to. 

"It’s a balancing act to bring the bike home. We have to take some responsibility for not getting the set-up perfect right now, but I still feel we’re getting everything out of the bike when it’s good."