Marco Melandri continued his mid-season resurgence with two podium finishes at the seventh round of the World Superbike Championship at Misano, but admitted frustration at placing so far behind championship leader Tom Sykes.

Having arrived in Italy on the back of his first double victory in the class since 2012, Melandri expected to continue chipping away at Sykes' 54 point advantage in the overall standings.

Yet the Aprilia rider was unable to get anywhere near the Kawasakis in race one, instead contending with the advancing Chaz Davies to salvage his fifth podium of 2014.

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The Italian changed to a softer rear Pirelli tyre for race two in a bid to close the advantage at the top and it resulted in the Italian challenging Loris Baz for second. In the end it wasn't enough to break the Kawasaki stranglehold but Melandri now believes he has found a setting with the RSV-4 that will allow him to challenge for wins in future rounds.

"I'm happy because I did my best but I expect to be closer to Tom," he told Crash.net. "Unfortunately this track is not so easy to pass - too much stop-and-go, always first gear, second or third - and the only place where you have to ride smooth I was losing a little bit on Loris. In hard braking I was always too far. I never give up, did my best and I think in the next races we can fight with them again."

"[I was losing time] Especially in the slow part of the track where you have to make the bike turn with the throttle at the maximum lean angle. In that area I was struggling a bit more with grip compared to Loris. Maybe he's [Baz] higher than me so he can put weight on the rear and have good traction and the same time put the weight on the front to make the bike turn. For me I have to move a lot on the bike. This track is very difficult, not many tracks have corners like here so it will be more positive in the future."

The number 33 was full of praise for Baz who didn't overplay some of Melandri's harder moves after the race. As the Aprilia lost time on the exit of the corners he was left to brake desperately in a bid to pass.

It nearly went wrong on lap 20 when Melandri ran into turn two, pushed Baz wide, and allowed him enough space to slide back through. With just under two laps remaining Melandri didn't get another opportunity to pass again.

"The second time I was a bit too far but too fast also so I choose to relieve the brake and cut inside," he explained. "But like this he can see me so he passed me back and had time to cross my line. He was riding very good, he never made a mistake and he was always very focused and quiet.

"I was looking for more grip but actually with the warm conditions I didn't find an advantage so maybe I have to do the opposite, soft in the morning and harder in the afternoon."