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Sylvain Barrier has extended his lead in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup after notching up a comfortable third win of the season at Imola.

The Frenchman, who is on a quest to become the first rider to successfully defend his Superstock crown since James Ellison in 2001, started from pole position but was made to work hard during the early stages by Barni Ducati pair Eddi La Marra and Niccolo Canepa.

Indeed, La Marra would assume the early advantage, but a move for the lead on lap four at Variante Alta by Barrier would see him assume an advantage he would manage to the chequered flag.

Barrier's cause was aided further when La Marra, who appeared on course for second position, crashed out with just over two laps remaining when he lost the front-end at Acqua Minerale.

His misfortune duly promoted team-mate Canepa into second position, the Italian making amends with a good result despite failing to mount the race win challenge his lap times over the weekend had seemingly suggested.

Despite La Marra's exit, there was still some joy to be had for Ducati on home soil as Ondrej Jezek put in his and SK Energy's best-ever performance at Superstock level to turn in a maiden podium for both rider and team in third place.

More than 17 seconds behind the leaders, Lorenzo Savadori had the scant reward of finishing as the top Kawasaki rider in fourth place, ahead of ZX-10R counterparts Leandro Mercado, Jeremy Guarnoni, Fabio Massei and Alessandro Andreozzi. Behind them, BMW pairing Marco Bussolotti and Greg Gildenhuys rounded out the top ten.

In the overall standings, Barrier has increased his lead to 12 points over Canepa, while Guarnoni moves up into third position at the expense of La Marra, the pair now 25 and 26 points adrift of the lead respectively.