Jason O’Halloran continued his hot Oulton Park form as he rode to a British Superbike podium for the second year running at the Cheshire circuit.
The Market Rasen-based rider two top-five finishes on Bank Holiday Monday in round three of the championship to move up to fourth in the overall rider standings on 63 points.
Qualifying went well for the Australian rider and he began the first race from a second-row grid position.
As the race got under way, O’Halloran maintained fourth position through the first half of the 18-lap race, but was overtaken by Shane Byrne on lap 12, and remained in fifth to the chequered flag to pick up 11 championship points for Honda Racing.
Again starting race two from the second row, O’Halloran took the lead on lap four and stayed there until lap 11 when he was passed by race one winner Leon Haslam.
He followed him in close convoy throughout the rest of the race and was never more than 0.2secs away from his back wheel.
But he was unable to make the pass and had to settle for second and the fastest lap of the race with a 1min 34.857secs.
“It was so close,” he said. “I tried to control the race at the front, but I could see that two other riders were coming with me, although I didn’t know who they were.
“Leon came through and I thought I would hang on the back of him and go with him. I was really comfortable, but I was on the limit and Leon is so strong on the brakes that even though I was looking at passing him on the last corner it was too dicey.
“It is only a matter of time before we win races this year as we are improving all the time.
“The boys are doing a fantastic job; they changed the engine and gearbox in between races so to go out with a new engine in race two and put it on the podium is fantastic.”
The championship takes a six-week break to make way for the two major road races of the year, the North West 200 and the Isle of Man TT festival.
The riders will reconvene at Snetterton, in Norfolk, over the weekend of June 15 to 17.