Rea started from the second row of the grid but looked to make immediate progress as he went to the outside of turn three.

Hoping to avoid the riders on his inside, Rea chose the careful line around the sweeping right-hander but it led to a big moment.

Rea’s foot came off the foot peg as he momentarily lost the front-end, however, the Kawasaki rider produced a sensational save by using his elbow and knee to remain aboard his bike.

"The start was okay but I made a big mistake in turn five," said Rea. "I was careful not to go too deep into another rider or in case another rider came into me, so I went outside and my foot was completely off. 

"I literally crashed but I was able to dig my elbow in, dig my knee in and picked up the bike. 

"Then it was a case of going past Alex and the two BMWs to set off after Toprak, Michael and Alvaro, but at that stage the gap was just consistent and couldn’t make any in-roads. 

"In the last few fast laps they just had that something extra and for me I was a sitting duck. 

"I really struggled to stop the bike, especially on entry to the corner. Trail-braking is where I was a lot weaker so there are some key areas we can improve."

Razgatlioglu ‘happy’ to win fifth WorldSBK race of the year

After battling past both factory Ducatis early on, Razgatlioglu’s chances of claiming victory were then helped as Alvaro Bautista hit technical problems.

An issue that put the world champion last, Razgatlioglu then fought hard against Rinaldi who looked as though he  had the pace to win until the closing stages.

Razgatlioglu added: "I’m happy to win again at Magny-Cours as it is one of my favourite tracks! We won like last year and, in the same way by fighting with Michael! 

"Anyway, a big thanks to the team as they were working really well this weekend and we made a step. 

"It’s not enough to just be good when braking, we need more power on the exit of the corner, especially from the slow ones. 

"Everyone knows the Ducati is so good on the straights, but we’ll keep fighting! I saw Alvaro had some technical problems; I’m not thinking about the Championship, I’m focused race by race as I need to win. I forget about the Championship. 

"We have two more races on Sunday. I’m more relaxed than Alvaro because I’m not thinking in the Championship. 

"If we win every race, we’re World Champions. In 2021, that was how I thought and it’s how I still think. We’ll just try to enjoy every race."