THIRD place at last weekend’s Oulton Park round of the Metzeler National Superstock 600 championship was enough to see Spring Terrace speed bike gun Ben Burke extend his lead atop of the 2012 British Super bike championship.
Starting in second on the front row of the grid after finishing qualifying at the pointy end of the time sheets, Burke began the 12-lap race strongly before being pushed back to third and the nine-way battle for a podium place that ensued.
The logjam remained as the lap clock counted down, with Burke forced to battle the pack around the 4.3 kilometre Oulton Park track.
Heading into the closing stages Chris Walker Race School star Lee Jackson had an unassailable seven-second lead on the chasing pack, but as two Moto-Breakers Yamaha riders braked heading into the track’s Hizzy chicane, Burke pounced on third.
The 23-year-old held on over the dying stages to secure the final step on the podium.
“This weekend was another fantastic result for me,” Burke said.
“I did very well in all my practice sessions. I managed to put the bike on the second position on the grid for the start, making life that bit easier for the race itself.
“The race was one of the most fierce battles I’ve had in my career, while at times a podium looked unlikely, I capitalised on opportunities and luckily ended up with a third place.”
The podium finish comes on the back of a hat-trick of wins over the course of the last three rounds for the Seton Tuning Yamaha racer. Despite breaking the run of wins Burke was still rapt with third, adding the 16 championship points to his already impressive tally of 132 after seven rounds.
He now leads the title race by 18 points, ahead of James Rose.
“I’m really looking forward to Brands Hatch for the next round where we can put the bike through its paces yet again.,” he said.
The second half of the 2012 season will commence with trip to the Brands Hatch grand prix circuit later this month, where Burke will look to further extend his championship lead.
Team owner Phil Seton said Burke has been in sterling form.
“He’s really flying the Seton flag high. It puts him in a really strong position going into the second half of the season,” Seton said.