Chris Vermeulen scored a pair of victories in this weekend's rounds of the World Superbike Championship, closing in on championship leader James Toseland.

Chris Vermeulen scored a pair of victories in this weekend's rounds of the World Superbike Championship, closing in on championship leader James Toseland.

After scoring his first Superbike victory at Silverstone i n the previous round, this weekend's performance showed Vermeulen to be more than just a flash in the pan.

His double victory at Laguna Seca lifted him to third in the championship standings, 14 points behind leader Toseland.

In the first race, Vermeulen's Honda comfortably beat the popular Italian rider, Pier-Francesco Chili , to the flag by more than four seconds. Steve Martin, who had been quickest in the Superpole, finished third in the first race.

Works Ducati team mates Toseland and Regis Laconi had a race-long battle for fourth place, with Toseland eventually taking it with mere hundredths of a second separating the two.

Noriyuki Haga finished sixth after starting the race from the pit lane.

The second race was a tighter contest for Vermeulen as Toseland followed him all the way. The Honda rider was able to stay ahead of Toseland's Ducati and take the second win of the day.

Laconi was able to fend off the advances of Noriyaki Haga for the final podium position, though he had to relinquish the top of the rider table to Toseland who now leads by three points.

Chili finished fifth the second time round in his 230th race, smashing the record for the most World Superbike Championship starts. Martin once again followed Chili to the finish.

Original article from Car