Eugene Laverty has made in-roads into team-mate Sylvain Guintoli's series lead after picking up his third World Superbike Championship win of the season at Monza.

Returning to the circuit where he scored a historic double two years ago riding a Yamaha, Laverty was seeking a similar result this time around aboard the Aprilia.

Embroiled in a tense four-way battle for the win in race one, Laverty would emerge in an exciting head-to-head with Marco Melandri on the final lap, the pair swapping positions three times before the Irishman nosed ahead on the run to the final corner.

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However, in a move reminiscent to 2011 when Laverty prevailed over his then team-mate Melandri, the Aprilia man would leave the smallest of gaps for Melandri to aim for, the Italian taking his opportunity to get beneath him and run his former team-mate wide on the run to the finish line. Laverty would also lose a spot to Tom Sykes, leaving him third.

Despite this, Laverty collected himself for race two and though he found himself in a similar position with Melandri behind him heading into the Parabolica, Laverty kept it neat to exit in front and carry on to the chequered flag.

"This was a great day for me. After the podium in race one it was nice to end the weekend with a victory. Especially since I was a bit disappointed because I had a shot at the top step of the podium in the first race as well if I had managed the end differently.

A third win of the season means Laverty is just 13 points behind team-mate Guintoli in the standings, the Irishman pointing out that he would be well ahead had he not suffered a double DNF at Aragon. Nonetheless, he is merely happy to prove the Aprilia is proving a competitive package wherever it goes.

"We showed that we can be fast and consistent on two very different tracks like Assen and Monza. My RSV4 did extremely well for me. On this track the speed and balance of the bike in braking are essential. The points situation is excellent if you consider the double DNF in Aragon, but I've already left those difficulties behind and I count on doing well at the next round in Donington as well.

"Even though it will be an 'almost' home round, it has never been a particularly favourable track for me, but I think this year I've got everything in order to bridge this gap as well."