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.
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.