Peter Hickman endured a mixed weekend at Donington Park in the penultimate round of the British Superbike championship.
He rode to a strong fourth place in the first 20-lap race but was forced out of the second race with a broken chain.
“Results-wise, it’s been a bit of a mixed day but, overall, our pace has been strong throughout,” Hickman said.
“We’ve made more improvements to the bike which has helped us get closer to the front group.
“In the first race, I made a slight mistake early on when the bike went into neutral at the Melbourne Loop, but I regained the lost places pretty quickly although I didn’t quite have the pace to get onto the podium.”
Hickman added: “Race two was going equally as well and although I had a few slides after the safety car had gone in, the lap times were good, and I felt strong in fifth.
“I was hanging on a bit to the front group but then the chain snapped which was unusual to say the least but it’s just one of those things and nothing the team could have done so we’ll look to end the season strongly with three strong rides at Brands Hatch.”
The weekend started with mixed conditions on Friday but qualifying on Saturday was run in dry conditions with Hickman utilising his track time on the Smiths BMW S1000RR to his advantage and qualifying in eighth place for Sunday’s first 20-lap race.
The damp weather predicted for race day failed to materialise and the track was completely dry for the opening race as Hickman moved up to sixth at the end of the opening lap.
Although he briefly dropped back to seventh, the Lincolnshire ace quickly regrouped and moved back up to fifth as he battled with Christian Iddon and Josh Brookes for third place and the final podium position.
With just five laps remaining, Iddon slowed and Hickman made a pass stick to move up to fourth position where he remained to the chequered flag.
Starting the second race from the second row Hickman settled into fifth place but on lap 13 he slowed at the Melbourne Loop and returned to the pits with a broken chain, his race over.
There are three races at the final round with 75 points up for grabs so Hickman has everything to race for.
Three strong results could still end his championship in fourth or fifth place.
The final round will be held at Brands Hatch on October 18-20.