Eugene Laverty is within 25 points of Max Biaggi in the battle for third in the World Superbike Championship after he posted a pair of top five finishes at Imola.
The Irishman, who has held down fourth position in the WSBK standings since Miller Motorsports Park, was looking make in-roads in Biaggi's advantage following the Italian's withdrawal through injury.
He succeeded in getting the gap down to a more manageable 25 points with four races remaining – and Biaggi's Magny-Cours participation still in doubt -, though Laverty feels he could have secured a podium finish at Imola.
“I was disappointed with the results in the first race," the Yamaha rider said. "The bike was working quite well but I made a stupid mistake that caused me to go wide and then I lost out on the chance to fight for the podium.
“I got a good start in race two but suffering from a chattering problem I found it tough to keep fighting. Mid-way I adjusted a button on the handle bar which altered the engine braking allowing me to improve lap times. With the less than perfect set-up and the hotter track temperatures, I am really satisfied with my fourth place finish.”