Kirton rider Aaron Clarke claimed 24th place – his best result of the current campaign – in round eight of the National Superstock 600 Championship at Thruxton on Sunday but was then disaqualified on a technicality.
Having never raced at the bumpy and technical circuit before, he was at a disadvantage but he was quick to learn his way around the course - although despite shaving another second from his times set in free practice, he started his race from the 11th row in 33rd position.
Clarke said: “I’ve qualified 33rd on the grid which, for my first time round here, I am pleased with.
“I’ve gone over a second faster in every session across the weekend so am hoping to get a good start and get in with the bunch and get dragged along. Loving the track and it’s safe to say that she’s faster than she looks on TV.”
As the race got under way Clarke got the start he wanted and was mixing it within a large group of riders in 31st place.
He moved through to 29th but was forced back to 30th one lap later. He persisted and made it back through to 29th on lap nine of 12.
That would have been a great result but he was still not content and moved further forward to 27th.
With a couple of riders near the front of the field throwing it down the road Clarke was promoted up to 25th and on the final lap secured 24th place which he held to the chequered flag.
“I am delighted with this result,” said Clarke.
“I seemed to gel with the circuit and never really put a foot wrong all weekend. To say this is my favourite circuit is an understatement!
“Thanks to my team for their hard work preparing the bike for me, it was faultless and a huge thank you to all my sponsors who have supported me and had faith in me.
“This result has proved that I am making progress which I hope will continue throughout the remainder of the season.”
After a post-race check Clarke, along with another two riders, was disqualified on a technicality.
He said: “Disappointed is an understatement. Raced to finish 24th which I was pleased with.
“Then my bike was one of the ones selected at random to have the ECU checked and we were missing the seals as it was a new bike at Snetterton.
“When they put the NEW frame stickers on they didn’t think to do the ECU but yet we are to blame.
“Rules are rules and I accept that but it’s very frustrating that they wouldn’t even test the ECU to see that it wasn’t played with.
“Gutted for myself, all my sponsors and everyone who comes to support me as we had a good finish. I am hungrier than ever now, though, Cadwell is my home round so extra motivation!”
The next round is much closer to home at Cadwell Park but not over the usual August Bank Holiday weekend.
Because the British round of MotoGP has taken that date in the racing calendar for the race at Silverstone, the British Superbike round has had to move back a week and will take place over the weekend of August 21-23.