Graeme Gowland made a solid start with his new team as he picked up two sixth-places at Oulton Park.
The Allendale rider joined the Appleyard Macadam Racing outfit last week to contest the remainder of the 2013 Motorpoint British Supersport Championship, just three weeks after parting company with the Seton Tuning Yamaha squad.
As the championship returned to the Cheshire circuit for the second time this season, Gowland lined up on the team’s Yamaha, and was hoping to emulate his success at the previous round when he crossed the line third.
Gowland hit the ground running from his first outing on Friday for free practice, and was back on the pace on Saturday for qualifying.
The former Spanish CEV champion was the fastest man in the first sector and had been making a challenge for pole when he crashed out at Shell Hairpin.
Before tipping off, he had managed to set the seventh fastest lap time, which was enough to earn him a place on the second row for that afternoon’s sprint race.
At the green light he made a solid start but dropped a place on the opening lap. He pulled it back, and was running seventh, just inches away from the top five, and was looking on course to break the top five and perhaps even make a challenge for the podium when he was caught out by a rider making a mistake in front of him.
Gowland dropped back to ninth and spent the rest of the race clawing his way back up, finally ending the race in sixth place and determined to improve for Sunday’s feature race.
Once again starting from seventh on the grid, this time he was determined to make amends. Getting a clean getaway he slotted into fifth place in the opening lap as a six-rider scrap ensued.
In a race which was to be a six-way fight from lights to flag, he ran most of it in fifth spot before seeing a chance on the final lap to make a move for fourth.
He made a move down the inside at Knickerbrook but was unable to make it stick, and was forced wide.
Glen Richards, who had been behind him, was able to capitalise from his wobble and move past him, relegating the Northumbrian back a place to take his second sixth position of the weekend.
Although he crossed the line sixth, he was just 1.8 seconds adrift of race winner Alastair Seeley, “We’ve got somewhere to work from now and hopefully we can progress further with a test at Cadwell Park this week,” he said.