Aaron Clarke made a welcome return to the racetrack when he rode to a strong 19th position at Cadwell Park in round nine of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 championship.
Clarke had been sidelined for a while after his BMW suffered an engine failure at Brands Hatch early in the season.
He had planned his return at his local circuit of Cadwell and was pleased with his result.
Free practice was interrupted by rain and the second session abandoned when heavy rain flooded the track on Friday which didn’t help his cause.
But he went out in qualifying with just a few laps under his belt and powered through to 19th position which gave him a seventh row start to his race on Sunday.
Despite the lack of track time Clarke made a good start and moved up into 18th position on lap four of 12.
His progress was stalled when the course car came out to give marshals the space to remove a fallen bike from the edge of the circuit.
This allowed Clarke to close up on the riders ahead and when the car left the track he capitalised on this and moved up to 17th position.
He continued to hold his position within a large group of riders all challenging for a points finish but on the final lap Clarke was beaten back to 19th place, just a fraction of a second separating him from 15th place and a championship point.
After such a long layoff, to finish in the top 20 in such a highly competitive field of riders is a credit to Clarke and he is anticipating another strong performance in the next round at Oulton Park over the weekend of September 6-8, where he will have two races to contest.