Chaz Davies has lost ground in the fight for the World Superbike Championship title after an indifferent day at Monza saw him pick up a sole fifth place finish.

The Welshman has endured a tricky weekend in Italy, defined early on by a mammoth crash in free practice that saw him fighting to regain confidence around the high-speed circuit.

Nonetheless, Davies would show strong pace in both races, even if his failure to latch onto the lead group in race one would prevent him from getting back on terms with his rivals. He would eventually cross the line in a fairly lonely fifth place.

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"Race one was a fun race but not ideal. It was fun to battle with Jonathan and Davide, but there is no need to fight around here because the front group goes away too quickly and you lose everything, especially in the slipstream which is very important.

"You have to take a few tenths every lap in the slipstream. I was quite happy with my pace in the middle of the race, I could see that I was closing a little bit on the front group but in the end it was not possible to catch them. I would have liked to see how the race would have ended if I would have been able to go with them."

In race two, Davies would fare better initially, tagging onto the front four and even setting the lap record at one stage, only to out-brake himself into turn one, dropping him to eighth.

Fighting back up to fifth, Davies went in pursuit of the leaders, but his efforts would see him lose the front-end on entry to the Roggia chicane, forcing him to retire.

"In race two I lost time fighting with Davide again. It was fun, but it cost me half a second a lap to the top group. I thought I could close the gap and was pushing to fight for the race win and not to finish fifth. In the end I was pushing too hard and lost the front.

"Obviously I am disappointed to crash, but I am happy because we improved the bike step by step and were going in the right direction."

Davies has slipped to fifth overall, behind team-mate Marco Melandri, and is now 46 points adrift of Sylvain Guintoli at the head of the standings.