JON Kirkham has edged ahead in the British Superbike Championship standings to retain a top-six ‘title fighters’ position after taking fifth, eighth and ninth place finishes at the Oulton Park triple-header weekend.
Earning a total of 26 points over the weekend, Kirkham (pictured) has moved onto 126 points and edged slightly ahead of team-mate James Westmoreland.
Kirkham’s gearbox slipped out during the second race, holding him back from repeating his highly promising fast qualifying pace and earning more points.
The Burton-based Buildbase BMW Motorrad team replaced the gearbox as a precautionary measure and had his BMW S 1000 RR race-ready for the third event of the weekend.
Kirkham said: “That was a tough weekend.
“A fifth place finish was great, but really I wanted my other results to have been on that level as well.
“The team did a fantastic job getting the bike ready for the third race, but we didn’t get the setup quite right and it didn’t feel as great as it did in the first two.
“But we’re going testing next week so we’ll be able to get it back to 100 per cent.”
Westmoreland finished two races in the points, taking a hard-fought sixth in the third event and ninth in the second.
He has moved onto 117 points, and has added two points to his lead over the eighth-placed rider in the championship.
Westmoreland said: “Sixth place felt great, it was a hard race and the bike absolutely delivered.
“But the rest of the weekend was a bit frustrating, especially having my gear selector break during race one.
“It was disappointing compared to some of our recent successes.
“But we have kept our lead in the championship, and slightly extended it, which is a good outcome for the weekend.”
Lee Jackson, riding the new BMW HP4 in its maiden season of British racing, improved on his qualifying position by seven places, finishing the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race in 12th position.
He currently sits in ninth place in the series.
The next race will be held over the August Bank Holiday Weekend at Cadwell Park.