Chaz Davies has strengthened his fifth position in the overall World Superbike Championship standings after notching up a pair of top six finishes at Imola.
Eager to turn around his season having struggled to challenge for the podium since his breakthrough double wins at Aragon earlier this year, Davies found the going tough at Imola as the BMW struggled for front running form around the Italian circuit.
Nonetheless, after finishing sixth in race one, Davies did have the satisfaction of challenging team-mate Marco Melandri for fourth place in race two, the Welshman just missing out after a final lap battle in which they almost swapped paint.
“Race one was difficult. I was not able to exit the corners as I wanted to. Everywhere else the bike seemed to be working okay but I could not get the bike under control as much as I would like on the corner exit. I either slided and then found grip what upset the bike or the acceleration was just not good enough.
“That cost me one bike length each time and I always had to push on the straights to catch that up again – until the next corner. In the end, the bike was easier to ride than in the middle of the race, the grip level was more consistent. It seemed as with the longer the race went on, the bike became better.
“We used that knowledge to improve the bike for the second race. The bike was better and I was able to at least fight in a good group with Marco and at the end of the race I still had the guys on the podium positions in sight.
“The battle with Marco in the closing stages was fun. I passed him with two laps to go and held him off for one lap but then racing up the hill he got a really good drive and he passed back at the top of 'Piratella'. Then in the last corner he went in a little bit too deep and I tried to cut back on the inside but I lost the rear unfortunately when I tried to pass him which was a bit of a shame but it was fun anyway.
“The only thing I am disappointed about is that I still lost too much time on the exit of slow corners. For some reason, I lost the grip earlier and could not open the gas as hard as I would have liked. It cost me some time on the straights so we really need to work on that tomorrow. At the test we will focus on that and I am confident that we will find something.”