Jonathan Rea's World Supersport title hopes have come alive again after taking a dominant victory at Vallelunga, while championship leader Andrew Pitt suffered a fall.
A third win of the season for Rea, the Ten Kate Honda rider was in the leading pack early on before pulling away as the race reached the mid-way point, a scintillating pace that ensured he would win by almost three seconds.
More importantly for his title hopes though, Pitt came down with only four laps remaining after coming off worse in a heated battle with Eugene Laverty, the Irishman showing exactly what he can do on a Supersport machine after a stunning ride to what would eventually be third place.
Indeed, Laverty, who started seventh, spent the first few laps keeping a watching brief behind the battle for second involving Pitt, Robbin Harms and Broc Parkes. Having dispatched Parkes though, Laverty proceeded to pass both Pitt and Harms at the same corner on lap nine. Although Pitt got him straight back, Laverty was soon back up to second place on lap 11.
Spurred on by seeing his Yamaha team-mate surge past, Parkes suddenly came alive and went on to embark on an exciting and close (probably too close for the Yamaha team…) tussle with one another.
Eventually, Parkes came out on top as he went off in search of Rea, but Laverty was continuing to hold off Pitt. The Aussie eventually attempted a move at Campagnola on lap 19 when he made contact with Laverty. Dramatically low-siding off, although Pitt came down, Laverty kept his bike upwards to hold onto third place.
It means Rea, who would not be caught by Parkes in the end, heads to the penultimate round of the season at Magny-Cours having slashed Pitt's advantage down to 11 points.
Behind Parkes, Laverty held on for an excellent third place finish after resisting the late attentions of Joan Lascorz, while Barry Veneman secured fifth. Harms dropped back to sixth, ahead of Gianluca Nannelli and Didier van Keymeulen.