Hawick Superbike star Stuart Easton climbed into fourth place in the British championship after a strong showing at Oulton Park.
Lying in fifth spot with 20 points ahead of the May Day Bank Holiday meeting, the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider lined up to compete in two 18-lap races in the second round of the British Superbike championship.
The Teri ace was narrowly pipped to the post in the second free practice session on Saturday by Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes, but he still managed to lap consistently in the 1:35s leaving him feeling positive ahead of qualifying on Sunday.
Easton’s best lap of 1:35.733 was enough to place him second fastest on the time sheets, and even outpaced team-mate Shane Byrne in the afternoon’s session, after the triple champ experienced technical problems.
Speaking after the session, a confident Stuart said: “It’s good obviously for me to get near to the top of the time sheets, but it’s only free practice and we have qualifying tomorrow.
“We’ve found a good set-up after going backwards and forwards all day, but I’m now happy with the feeling of the bike, and everyone is working hard.
“I’m hoping to continue to make small improvements throughout the weekend and this is a tricky track, but I’m happy at the moment, and this is the best start that I could have hoped for.”
Again for the Sunday’s qualifying, Stuart was very solid and was in fourth place for the two Monday races.
In near perfect conditions for race one, Stuart kept with the top three for several laps but on lap six a gap was opened on him and Tommy Bridewell, with Stuart finishing in fifth place behind the latter.
Race two produced a similar situation with the same top three of Josh Brookes, Shane Byrne, and James Ellison hitting the front. Stuart again battled for fourth place with Bridewell, this time getting the better of him.
The next round is at Snetterton in Norfolk on June 13-15.