Loris Baz achieved his highest ever finish in the British Superbike Championship after making the brave decision to start the first race on dry tyres.
The young Frenchman had starred once again on Saturday, qualifying on the front row for the second event in succession, but made another terrible start and fell as low as 17th at one point.
But the slick-shod Motorpoint Yamaha quickly began to climb back up the order, and a mid-race safety car period brought him back into play at the front of the field. Baz eventually finished a career-high of fourth, snatching it from EVO rider Alex Lowes on the final lap.
The 18-year-old continued in that vein in race two, getting the better of MSS Colchester Kawasaki's Gary Mason to take fifth. With a weekend haul of 24 points, Baz has moved up to seventh in the championship, just three points behind Jon Kirkham who holds the final place in the all-important top six.
Beverley-based rider James Westmoreland also put in a stunning display in qualifying to head up the second row of the grid and took a similar decision to Baz, starting the race on slick tyres.
The series rookie also finished higher in a British Superbike race than ever before, claiming 12th in race one after also suffering from a poor start. The 22 year old matched that result in the dry conditions of race two to achieve his fourth points finish in a row.
Team manager Rob Mac was beaming after the Scunthorpe based team's best weekend of the season so far, and praised his young chargers for showing such maturity in challenging conditions.
“At last, I get to smile. It was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Choosing slick tyres was the only decision for us despite the wet but sometimes you just have to go for it and get yourself up for it. We've got a good fast pace with the guys and but race day has been lacking. When race day rolled around everyone was well up for it. Loris and Westy did well with the weather to bring home the bikes in one piece and to race like they did, especially Loris – in full slick tyres to pull off a fourth position in race one was fantastic.”
“In the 2nd race he did not have a brilliant start but he worked out and got through to 5th. We're over the moon with that finish and we are beginning to see his potential. “
“Westy is getting there – it's a bit rough for him getting going in the dodgy conditions. Now we've got lots of confidence and we're looking forward to Thruxton.”