Leon Haslam took the positives of a strong points haul in the fourth round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park, despite having to give second best to first his team-mate Gregorio Lavilla and then to reigning champion Ryuichi Kiyonari.
The Derbyshire rider showed no signs of the lingering discomfort of the leg injuries sustained in a high-speed crash during the previous round as he took the lead in each of the races with a strong performance that came close to rewarding him with a first victory of the season.
"My target was to be on the podium in both races to get my title challenge back on track," said Haslam, who had always been in contention in the opener, running third in the early stages as HM Plant Honda rider Kiyonari led from Lavilla, who was to power his Airwaves Ducati into the lead on the fourth lap.
Haslam was closing in and just into the final third of the race found a way through at Old Hall to displace Kiyonari from second place.
The scrap for the lead was developing with Haslam reeling in Lavilla and again, timing his move to perfection, he moved into the lead at Old Hall with four laps to go.
Lavilla was in no mood to concede the race as the two Airwaves riders duelled intensely and on the penultimate lap, the Spanish rider barged his way through at the Hairpin.
"It was a harsh move but he had lost his braking point and left his tyre mark on my fairing. Greg apologised to me straight away - it was one of those things," explained Haslam after he came in less than a quarter of a second down on the Spaniard, who was enjoying his fifth victory of the campaign.
Kiyonari took third place ahead of his team-mate Jonathan Rea with Tom Sykes holding off his Stobart Vent Axia Motorsport Honda team-mate and former champion Shane Byrne to take fifth place.
Lavilla's hopes of a daily double were dashed by a poor start in race two but he made up for that with a hard-charging performance, carving through the pack from 14th on the opening lap.
Kiyonari completed his third victory of the season, taking the flag two seconds clear. Byrne rode hard but was unable to catch Haslam, settling for third.