Eugene Laverty wins second Monza World Superbike race
Eugene Laverty won Sunday's second World Superbike race at Monza after earlier finishing third in the opener.
Aprilia rider Laverty came home ahead of race one winner Marco Melandri and now lies second in the championship after four rounds on 124 points, 13 behind his team-mate Sylvain Guintoli.
Laverty had already won races at Phillip Island and Assen this season.
Jonathan Rea was eighth in race one but retired in race two and now lies eighth in the series standings on 71 points.
Laverty started from second on the grid at a circuit which saw him take two World Superbike wins in 2011 and a World Supersport success a year earlier.
The Toomebridge man, now based in Monaco, led early on in the first event but dropped back to fourth.
Guintoli moved into the lead halfway through the race and Melandri and Tom Sykes also overtook Laverty, who was losing ground.
Laverty hit the front again coming onto the last lap but BMW rider Melandri secured victory by overtaking the 26-year-old on the final corner, with polesetter Tom Sykes also nipping through to claim second position.
Laverty and Melandri exchanged the lead on the final lap, with the Italian making the decisive move in the closing moments.
Pata Honda racer Rea ended up in eighth after being instructed to drop two places after running off the track on lap 10.
"That was a fantastic battle and I did all I could to win, but got bumped down to third place. It was an enjoyable race and fair play to the two guys who came in ahead of me," said Laverty after race one.
Laverty again led during the early stages of the second race, Guintoli overtook him, but the Irish rider went back in front on lap 17 of 18 and didn't look back.
"It was nice to get the win and make amends for losing out in race one," said Laverty afterwards.
Melandri had to settle for second, with Sykes completing the rostrum and Guintoli taking his second fourth place finish of the day.
Ballyclare-born Rea retired in the pits after four laps.
The next round of the series will be staged at Donington on 26 May.