Alex Lowes says the changing wet weather conditions in the Misano opening race triggered his fall from the lead as he aquaplaned off, as the British rider apologises to his Pata Yamaha team for “at worst a podium”.

The British rider bolted clear of the chasing pack with Jonathan Rea at the start and on Lap 7 moved into the lead in front of the reigning World Superbike champion.

But two laps later Lowes slipped off under braking for Turn 12 which cruelly ended his race in dramatic circumstances.

The British rider felt he had no prior warning from his Pata Yamaha with consistent grip in the wet conditions but with the rain intensity changing throughout the race he accepted he was caught out by the heavier showers which caused him to aquaplane off.

“I felt good in the wet conditions this morning and the bike was working well, in the race I was waiting behind Jonathan because 18-laps is a long race in the wet. I didn't want to use up the soft compound rear tyre too early,” Lowes said.

“There was a lot of water on track and at one point I was struggling to see through the spray thrown off Jonathan's bike, so I put in a pass and managed to pull a bit of a gap.

“I was feeling strong and hadn’t had any slides at all, which is sometimes worse because it builds confidence.

“When I arrived into Turn 11, I could see that there was a lot more water on the track than on the previous laps. I tried to brake a bit more before I went in but I just lost the rear as it aquaplaned and I was off.”

With a first World Superbike win since Brno last year, plus a first podium since the Aragon round, lost Lowes has apologised to his Pata Yamaha squad after failing to finish.

“Sorry to the team and to Yamaha, a victory or at worst a podium was there, and it was shame to finish this way today.”