The way you worded the question sounds as if it's right out of a text book
My guess is that it mounts it first in RO mode because all it has to do is read the kernel parameters, and boot the necessary items, then remounts in RW mode to allow for changes to directories, and to files (such as mtab) and those also needing an IP and such.
That is just my guess though...
And why is it necessary? Well if I am even remotely close, then that would seem very secure to me. Your kernel, and only your kernel is read and acted upon during the RO process, thereby if a virus somehow infected your system, and attacked and replaced the kernel (hid itself as the kernel) then nothing horrible could actually be done, and the system would not get past the RO point (because the virus is not actually the kernel which requires certain obvious parameters to be executed properly). Again, just a theory, based off my theory.