In-form rider Dan Linfoot led a British Superbikes race for the first time over the weekend as his pursuit to reach the title showdown at the end of the season ramped up a gear.
The Knaresborough riders sped to two fourth-place finishes at Thruxton to move into sixth position in the 2014 MCE British Superbike Championship standings.
The 26-year-old will be back in the pitlane this weekend at Oulton Park, and he wants to keep hold of the top six berth he has obtained.
He said: “I’ve taken my best ever finishes to grab a haul of points to move into the all-important top six Showdown positions so there’s lots of positives to take away and with the next round only a few days away.
“I want to do all I can to maintain the momentum.”
Linfoot posted a career best third in Saturday’s qualifying session, which placed him on the front row for the first 20-lap race.
And he made his grid position count to grab the lead in a BSB race for a first time.
He led for the first six laps, and although Josh Brookes and Shane Byrne overhauled him on the seventh and ninth laps respectively, he looked on course for a dream debut podium.
However, while he was locked in battle for second with Byrne, Ryuichi Kiyonari caught the pair and ultimately relegated him to fourth.
With the fastest lap of the race, another first for the Knaresborough ace, he started the second race from pole position.
But, after initially leading, the race was stopped when Tommy Bridewell’s Yamaha ground to a halt. On the restart, Dan slotted into second Byrne and he was nudged out of the podium positions before the finish.
Linfoot said: “One of the things I’ve wanted most this season has been to run with the top boys and whilst I did that successfully in both races, I’m a bit disappointed now not have taken at least one podium.
“It was a great weekend though and the boys in the team did a great job, giving me a missile of a bike.
“At some of the previous rounds, it’s taken me a while to get up to speed so I made a conscious effort to reverse that trend this weekend and it paid off.”