In the mix early on, Rea looked to have the pace to battle for an unlikely podium based on how free practice went for the Misano WorldSBK round.

But once tyre wear began to take over in what were sweltering conditions, Rea’s pace faded as he dropped away from the likes of Danilo Petrucci and Axel Bassani.

That meant Rea was on course for P6 at the very most before Petrucci crashed out, however, P5 nearly became sixth once more following a race-long battle with Dominique Aegerter.

The Yamaha rider was clearly quicker than Rea, but the rookie, who attempted several overtakes was unable to make them stick on any occasion.

"It was a great fight at the end, we swapped positions a few times at the end," said Rea. "Of course, it’s not the battle you want to be in during the last laps, but I put everything in to try to take the maximum points. 

"My race from the beginning was quite strong and I felt I was there with Toprak and the private Ducatis. I was focusing on them, trying to be there, but they broke me, and I was on my own with Dominique 0.1 all race. 

"I just had to focus on myself and I started to nurse the bike in the areas I was struggling in. I tried to anticipate where he was going to pass as well because the gap was that small, I knew he was going to attack at some point. 

"Luckily enough, I was able to be clean enough to make the cutbacks each time he came through. 

"I knew if I could lead onto the middle straight from Turn 6 to 8, and if I could brake on my limit and get the bike stopped… but he came steaming past and I thought ‘oooh, good luck… if he could get that stop, he deserves it!’. 

"It was the move that just made that last lap a bit more comfortable."

Although Aegerter failed to make the move stick, the Swiss rider once again showed why he should be considered for the factory Yamaha seat in 2024.

Brilliant pace throughout meant the two-time Supersport champion was a thorne in Rea’s side, while finishing as the top rookie has seen him increase his advantage over Petrucci to 28 points.

Speaking about the battle with Rea, Aegerter said: "I think we started well. The race was long and hot, and I didn’t know what to expect exactly with these conditions with the tyres, because I crashed on Friday when I wanted to do the long run. 

"I learnt a lot when I was behind Jonny. He knows how to defend well and manage the tyres. 

"I was trying to overtake him a few times, but I was also on the limit. I went wide. The battle was quite nice but, of course, he won the battle which I didn’t like so much!"