Jonathan Rea pulled off a Marc Marquez style save when he lost the front of his Kawasaki through Turn 1 of Saturday's opening World Superbike race at Misano.

Rea, who qualified on pole and went 'bar-to-'bar with eventual winner Michele Rinaldi through the opening corners (main pic), was chasing the Ducati rider when the moment occurred just before the midway stage of the 21 laps.

Although the Kawasaki star was able to raise his ZX-10R upright again, momentum dragged the six-time world champion off-track, handing second place to Toprak Razgatlioglu.

"I'd like to say I was learning from Marc Marquez, but in reality, it was complete luck!" said Rea. "I felt the tyre go and pushed with my knee… I was completely off the bike! It was lucky."

Rea remained in third thereafter, taking the chequered flag 5.1s from Rinaldi and 1.4s from Razgatlioglu's Yamaha.

The Ulsterman suggested he could opt for a different specification of front tyre for Sunday's races, which he will start with a 31-point lead over nearest rival Razgatlioglu.

"I chose the new front tyre for this race. I used it in Superpole and felt quite good but we did not have a lot of information after ten laps in all. It seems like the temperature, especially in the race, meant I cooked the tyre too much. It started moving quite a lot," Rea explained.

"When I rejoined the track [after the save] and had a gap up to Toprak it felt better, not perfect, but better. So tomorrow we need to revisit things to see if we can be fast with our ‘normal’ front tyre.

"The new one brought some confidence on the brakes but we need to be able to fight at the end of the race. My pace was still OK for the last laps but the moment I had in Turn One disturbed my rhythm and let Michael get away.

"He did fantastic today and the pace at the front was really good. I think tomorrow we can make a small step with the bike because I learned a lot from Michael and Toprak in Race One.

"Tomorrow we should be better prepared.”

Team-mate Alex Lowes held fifth place from lap 1 to the flag, but also battled front-end difficutlies.

“I was a lot worse than I expected today. In the practices I thought, ‘I feel good,’. I set lots of good laps and changed the bike a little bit on the front. In the race I didn’t have the feel I needed and from the first laps I was struggling with releasing the brake and carrying some corner speed," Lowes said.

"The front was moving a lot. I had a couple of warnings so I did not have the confidence to push like I expected. It was a shame because I hoped to be a bit faster but this was my first time racing here on the Kawasaki and obviously the temperatures came up for the race too. So we have good information for tomorrow.”

Lowes finished 13.5s behind Rinaldi and 1.3s ahead of Honda's Alvaro Bautista.