Shane Byrne shrugged off the effects of a shoulder to put himself firmly in contention for the MCE British Superbike Championship.
The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider, who was forced to miss the previous round of the series at Donington after dislocating his shoulder in a spill at Cadwell Park, made a superb comeback as he took the honours in race one at Assen and finished as the runner-up in the second race.
Byrne stepped up his bid for a third BSB crown with a comfortable success in race one by almost five seconds over Josh Brookes, although the Australian rider turned the tables in the second race.
Nonetheless it was a rewarding weekend for the Kawasaki man, who is now just two points behind Brookes in the championship standings and ahead of reigning champion Tommy Hill, with the Swan Yamaha rider slipping to third in the points table.
Byrne said he was “disappointed” to miss the chance of a double at Assen after he was baulked by a backmarker as he attempted to hit back at Brookes on the final lap.
“If anyone had offered me a first and second a week ago I'd have laughed at them, but after winning race one I was disappointed not to win race two,” he said.
“My shoulder was sore but didn't cause me too many problems in race one and I was lining up to pass Josh in the final corner in race two but was unfortunately baulked by a backmarker, but that's racing.
“I'm certainly fired up for Silverstone and happy enough to be just two points off the championship lead.”