BEN Wilson extended his series lead in the Fuchs Silkolene British Supersport Championship to 58 points with a strong showing at Thruxton.
Although unable to extend his run of five successive wins, a third and fourth place over the Bank Holiday weekend left the Gearlink Kawasaki rider satisfied with his showing.
The 29-year-old rider from Kirton near Boston was on top form during free practice and qualifying but just missed out on pole position by 200ths of a second to Jack Kennedy and began race one from second on the gird.
In cloudy but dry conditions, Wilson was quick to get away in the sprint race and got the hole shot into turn one.
He maintained his lead for six of the 12 laps but was gradually reeled in by a gaggle of riders who were all intent on taking the win for themselves.
An intense battle for position followed, with the lead being exchanged between five riders throughout the remainder of the race.
Wilson got back in front on the penultimate lap and held it by the narrowest of margins until they powered towards the complex on the finale.
Billy McConnell pulled out of the slipstream and edged into the lead – and Alistair Seeley followed through, leaving Wilson to cross the finish line in third. Just 0.2 seconds covered the top trio.
Wilson said: “The slipstreaming is just typical of the Thruxton circuit, I could have maybe had a stab back on that last lap but we needed the points to extend our lead in the championship so I am happy with third place.”
Monday’s feature race was held in wet and windy conditions. Having not raced in the wet this year, Wilson had no idea as to how the bike would perform.
He was third into the first corner but with standing water on parts of the track, the Gearlink Kawasaki ace decided to err on the side of caution and dropped back to sixth in the early stages.
Race leader Alistair Seeley went out with an electrical problem mid-race, leaving five riders to battle it out at the front.
But the tricky conditions caught them out and Jack Kennedy went down on lap 12, swiftly followed by Steve Plater and Christian Iddon.
Race control was quick to red flag the race and a result was declared on positions at the end of lap 10.
Wilson had just moved up into third position when the race was called but because the results went back a lap he was awarded fourth place.
Wilson added: “It was tricky out there today, I am happy enough with fourth although I had just moved up into third when the race was red flagged but that’s how it goes sometimes.
“It was good to come here and extend my advantage at the top of the standings so I am happy enough.”
With eight rounds still to run the title chase is far from over.
The next round is at Knockhill in Scotland on June 19. Wilson has won there in the past and is anticipating two good results to add further to his points haul.
• Rider standings: 1st B Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) 167pts; 2nd A Seeley (Relentless TAS Suzuki) 109pts; 3rd J Kennedy (Colin Appleyard/Macadam) 99pts; 4th B McConnell (Oxford Tag Triumph) 87pts; 5th P Young (Oxford Tag Triumph) 86pts.