Gary Mason is targeting a place in the end of season championship showdown after a strong ride to fifth place in the only race to beat the weather at Oulton Park.

MSS Colchester Kawasaki's title hopes looked to have disappeared after Stuart Easton was injured at the North West 200, but Mason's performance on Sunday moved him to within 22 points and two places of the top six with five races still to go before the showdown places are confirmed.

Mason qualified down in 14th but charged through the field in the slippery conditions and was delighted with the performance of the ZX-10R in the wet.

“Qualifying could have gone better, I thought I was on for a front row but things didn't work out as I had some issues with the qualifying tyres. But in the race I got my head down and after a great start I was brave into turn one and made up a load of places. The bike was working well in the wet and I was trying to get a podium but it was just so slippy out there it was unreal. Fifth was a good result and now I'm only one point off 7th position in the championship, which is fantastic as the Showdown is in my sights.”

Team owner Nick Morgan is encouraged by Mason's continued progress and hopes to see that trend continue as the team eyes the top six championship positions.

“Gary rode a sterling race, very, very good. He got a mega start from fourteenth on the grid, looked in control and rode fantastically. He keeps improving as a rider and I can't fault his performances this year.”

Teammate Alex Lowes' fortunes went in the other direction after qualifying eighth but finishing down in 13th. The Lincolnshire rider was hoping to make progress in race two but the weather scuppered those plans, and the 20 year old is now looking ahead to the summer meetings at Brands Hatch and Cadwell Park.

“This hasn't been a great weekend. Qualifying went well but I just couldn't run as fast as I wanted in the race as I couldn't get any feel from the bike and I didn't want to risk a crash. We changed a few things ready for race two but as it was cancelled we didn't get the chance to test them. I'm looking forward to Brands Hatch and hopefully by the time we get to the re-scheduled Oulton race at Cadwell Park I will be more familiar with the Ninja ZX-10R and I can give my home fans something to cheer.”