Having begun the weekend with a best finish of just eighth this season, Lorenzo Lanzi produced one of his best World Superbike performances for some time with a remarkable victory challenge at Imola.

The local rider was on form from the very first session aboard the DFX Ducati, before going on to qualify in fifth position - his best grid slot since Valencia 2008 when he went on to take a shock win for the privateer RG Ducati team.

A similarly surprise result was on the cards in race one as Lanzi fought his way to the front of the field, the Italian leading a race for the first time since that occasion in Spain when he benefitted from a last corner collision between Carlos Checa and Max Neukirchner.

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While he wouldn't have the longevity to hold off Checa and Leon Haslam, Lanzi would benefit from another final lap drama - Haslam running off the circuit - to snatch second position.

"It was a very beautiful day for me, an Italian on the podium so fantastic. My team have worked very well this weekend. Conditions were difficult, so it was very strange.

"In Superpole I worked a lot because I wanted to finish on the podium in the race, which is important for next year. I was in the lead for a few laps, which was very good, It's been so long I don't remember what it's like!"

Lanzi's performance also marked a first podium for DFX in three years, when Michel Fabrizio scored a third place at Brno riding a Honda.