Rising star sitting third

Rising star Graeme Gowland is sitting third in the prestigious Spanish CEV Championship after scoring his third podium in as many races last weekend.

Rising star Graeme Gowland is sitting third in the prestigious Spanish CEV Championship after scoring his third podium in as many races last weekend.

And the 21-year-old Allendale rider is just seven points behind championship leader Angel Rodriguez with everything still to play for as the title fight hots up.

Gowla's third race of the season took place last Sunday at Jerez, and marked just his second ever visit to the world famous track.

Rain throughout Friday left the track still damp for Saturday's first qualifying session, and Gowla spent the morning familiarising himself and his Joe Darcey Honda CBR600RR machine with the circuit, eventually posting a time which sat him in provisional seventh on the grid.

But the tarmac soon dried, leaving perfect conditions for second qualifying, and the youngster was able to set a hot lap of 1:47.674min, placing him on the front row in third spot for Sunday's race.

At the green light, a clean getaway saw him hold onto third place into the first corner, before reeling in Adrian Bonastre to take second in Lap Two.

Bonastre soon stole back the spot then moved up to first, only to be relegated by a charging Rodriguez a lap later, and Gowla capitalised by taking back P2.

As the frontrunners diced for position, swapping spots and paintwork over the remaining 15 laps, the youngster - who shot to fame by dominating the latter half of last year's R6 Cup - managed to cling onto second as the chequered flag came out.

His impressive second place came as his third podium in three rounds, and left him in a great spot to fight for the championship, which looks set to run all the way to the wire.

"I'm pleased to be on the podium again, it was another close battle and I enjoyed every minute of it. My Joe Darcey Honda worked really well out there," he smiled. "I would like to take this opportunity to that thank Gerard and all of the team plus Dunlop and Showa for all their hard work."

Last weekend's result has blown the championship wide open with Rodriquez now leading on 59 points, followed by Russell Gomez on 58 points and Gowland in third with 52.

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