Eugene Laverty says 'problems with the bike' forced him into making the mistake that saw him crash out of the second World Superbike race at Imola, the Irishman losing precious ground in the title fight as a result.

On a mixed day for both Aprilia Racing riders, Laverty made the most of issues for Sylvain Guintoli and Jonathan Rea in race one to hold off Marco Melandri for third position, a significant boost on a weekend he has relatively struggled.

Holding down the same position during the early stages of race two, Laverty says he was feeling less comfortable on the bike before he lost the RSV4 on the exit of Rivazza.

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"The result in Race 1 was definitely encouraging. We managed to improve the bike a lot between yesterday and today, even during the warm-up session. For Race 2 I expected a second step forward, but unfortunately from the beginning I had some problems with the bike that cost me a lot at some points of the track.

"To stay in the race I had to take some risks and that led to my crash. It was a mistake on my part. I'm disappointed because I know that we're stronger than what we demonstrated today."

Laverty's error means he is now 45 points behind Tom Sykes in the overall standings.