Ian Hutchinson warmed up for the MCE Ulster Grand Prix with a battling runner-up finish in the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 race at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
Hutchinson powered home on the Tyco BMW after scything his way through the pack from row three, catching and passing Michael Rutter on the Bathams SMT BMW to slot into second place.
He began to make inroads into eventual winner Taylor Mackenzie’s lead, but the Buildbase BMW rider had enough in hand and crossed the line with 1.1 seconds in hand over the Bingley Bullet.
Fraser Rodgers came through to pip Rutter for the final place on the podium, while reigning champion Josh Elliott from Ballinamallard finished fifth after making a poor start on his Tyco BMW.
Jeremy McWilliams finished 15th on the EHA Aprilia as he continues to fill in for the injured Ben Wilson.
Clogher’s Keith Farmer suffered a setback when he clipped the rear of Alex Olsen’s BMW on his Quay Garage Honda, sending both riders crashing out.
Mackenzie now leads the championship by 28 points from Hutchinson, with Farmer third, 24 points back on Hutchy.
Yorkshireman Hutchinson will now turn his attention to the MCE Ulster Grand Prix, where he has the chance to complete a clean sweep of Superstock victories at the major international meetings following his wins at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT for the Moneymore team.
Hutchinson will start as the slight favourite on his British championship machine but the competition is fierce at Dundrod, with Michael Dunlop, Lee Johnston, Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison among his chief rivals.