Like team-mate Josh Brookes, Christian Iddon closed the gap to the championship leader in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at the weekend, taking a strong podium finish in the opening race.
Third place, just 0.372s behind race winner Tarran Mackenzie and Brookes, proved to be his best finish of the weekend but there was nothing wrong with his pace in all three races and had it not been for being pushed off track by Mackenzie in the final race, the deficit to the Yamaha rider would have been considerably less than the 33 points that it now is.
“Third place on Saturday was a good start to the Showdown and our title hopes,” the Tyneside-based rider said. “I got a good start from the third row which made my life that little bit easier and could see Jason (O'Halloran) and Josh were battling hard at the front.
“Taz and I were also battling hard but not enough to lose any ground and when Jason crashed, it changed the complexion of the race. I’m not sure why but the pace slowed quite a bit and I didn’t quite have the package to push any harder. After an average qualifying session though, a podium was fantastic.”
Sunday’s first race followed a similar pattern with Iddon in contention throughout, this time taking fourth but it was again close, just over a second covering the leading four riders.
Another podium was on the cards in the final race but all hopes of that disappeared when Mackenzie dived up the inside of him at Lodge, the somewhat over-ambitious move resulting in contact, Iddon coming off very much the worse.
Keeping control of the bike, and staying upright, in the gravel trap proved crucial though and although it dropped him back to 15th, he fought back to claim 11th at the chequered flag for what could prove to be five crucial points.
However, with O’Halloran crashing out for a second time and Mackenzie penalised for another on-track incident, this time with Lee Jackson, Iddon couldn’t help ponder what might have been.
“Sunday was a mixed day but whilst it would have been nice to have got the gap to the leaders below 25 points, it’s still only 33 and it’s still all to play for. With Jason suffering two crashes though and Taz getting penalised, I can’t help but think it’s a missed opportunity.
“Fourth in the first race was ok but I just didn’t have the power to fight at the end so had to settle for the position whilst Taz didn’t leave me any room in the second and off I went into the gravel trap. I was able to hold onto the bike though and who knows how valuable those five points could be.”