Sylvain Guintoli salvaged a home WSBK podium for Aprilia on a difficult day for the Italian manufacturer at Imola.

Starting from the front row, Guintoli had faded from second to fifth due to a drop in tyre performance in race one - and looked in danger of a similar fate in race two.

However the Frenchman was able to put up a better defence, which only Chaz Davies was able to breach, allowing Guintoli to seal third position.

Related Articles

"It was a hard battle in both races," said Guintoli, third in the championship and 16 points behind Sunday's double winner Jonathan Rea.

"In Race 2 we managed to improve our pace quite a bit. I knew I would have to start off strong because we are struggling a bit at the moment in the second half of the race. I fought all the way to the end. I knew that the podium was within reach so I gritted my teeth and tried not to make any mistakes.

"A fifth and third place don't exactly make me jump for joy, but in any case they mean 27 points. I know that I put forth my best effort on this track. The test tomorrow is important because we'll be able to continue improving and looking for new solutions so that we can be incisive in any conditions."

While Guintoli got a trophy reward, team-mate and home star Marco Melandri was left with forgettable sixth and eleventh places.

"This was a very disappointing Sunday race day, definitely not up to our expectations which were quite high after such a good start to the weekend," said the Italian. "Friday and Saturday were positive and it seemed like we were on the right track. This means that we still have a lot of work to do. I am quite capable of bringing home very different results, but that's how this sport is at these levels".