Alex Lowes says Jonathan Rea made a ‘big error of judgement’ in his bungled attempts to overtake for third position on the final corner of the first World Superbike Championship race at Jerez after it left the Yamaha rider nursing a shoulder injury.

The pair were engaged in an absorbing battle for the final podium spot during the second-half of the encounter, one Lowes looked to have sewn up with a decisive move three laps from the end only to have Rea come back at him at the notorious last corner ‘Jorge Lorenzo’ left-hander.

As Rea lunged for the inside, the pair made contact – as many have in MotoGP done at the same spot over the years – with Lowes skittling down in an incident that alarmingly also dragged his glove from his left hand.

Rea went on to finish third, a position that looked final until it emerged Race Direction had reconvened hours later to determine he should slip to fourth – behind Lowes’ Yamaha counterpart Marco Melandri – and be demoted to the back of the grid for the Superpole Race so Lowes could start on the front row.

Though a ‘gutted’ Lowes, who remounted but only to be classified 16th, suggests a punishment is indeed justified in the circumstances, he remains unsatisfied by the ultimate outcome.

“Obviously, I’m gutted with the eventual outcome of the race. I was struggling with the bike a little bit in the race, which meant I wasn’t able to stay with Michael, but I felt I could be consistent with the pace I had. It was a good battle with Johnny; I felt I was a bit stronger than him and with three laps to go managed to get in front.

“I put in a good, solid, clean last lap and I felt like I had the beating of Johnny but then he made a big error of judgement in the final corner and took me straight off the bike.

“It was a decent hit and I’m pretty sore right now. He’s been penalised for the move, but that doesn’t change the fact that I missed out on the podium and 16 really important points, which is a shame.

“Anyway, there are a few things we can improve on the bike; my pace has been strong all weekend and, luckily, we have two races tomorrow in which to try and make up for today’s loss. A disappointing result, but there are also plenty of positives we can take away from today.”

Lowes was checked over by Clinica Mobile for a shoulder injury and contusions to his left wrist, meaning he will need to undergo a medical check to be passed fit to race on Sunday. Yamaha says he is expected to able to take up his position.

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