Northern Ireland ace Eugene Laverty failed to build on his excellent form in qualification Superbike World Championship in Brno, Czech Republic, by finishing twice in fifth position yesterday.
Laverty started the first race on the front row but dropped back to finally finish in a disappointing fifth and he couldn’t improve that position in Race Two.
Carlos Checa saw his lead cut to 30 points in the despite twice finishing on the podium.
The Althea Ducati rider leads the standings with 293 points from defending champion Maxi Biaggi, who is on 263 after sharing race wins with fellow Italian Marco Melandri at Brno.
Melandri took his third victory of the season in race one as he edged out the Alitalia Aprilia of Biaggi and Checa.
Biaggi reversed the positions in the second race as he won ahead of Melandri and Checa.
Melandri took his third win of the season in race one as he led home his main title rivals.
Michel Fabrizio looked capable of catching the top three at one point but eventually the Suzuki Alstare rider dropped back to take a safe fourth place.
BMW Italia's Ayrton Badovini made good progress to take sixth at the flag ahead of Biaggi's team-mate Leon Camier and the BMW of Leon Haslam. Ninth went to Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) rounded out the top 10.
Race two was also a close run thing as Biaggi edged out Melandri after a fierce battle.
Melandri put the pressure on Biaggi right up until the finish but was 0.222 seconds behind his rival as they crossed the finish line.
Checa made it on to the podium for a second time and Fabrizio was again in fourth spot.
Laverty came home in fifth as Badovini repeated his fine form from race one with a sixth place on the satellite BMW machine ahead of the official factory-backed entry of Haslam.