Michael Laverty feels he finally has a bike he can fight at the front with after grabbing his first rostrum of 2015 as he moves up to fourth in the MCE British Superbike championship.

The Tyco BMW rider instantly gelled with a new swing arm at Assen as he progressively crept up the timesheet during the free practice sessions and converted his best qualifying performance of the season into a maiden podium in 2015 and his first in BSB since 2012.

Laverty feels with the improvements made on the Tyco BMW he now has the potential to consistently challenge at the sharp end and is targeting third in the BSB championship after leapfrogging Honda's Dan Linfoot and his team-mate Tommy Bridewell in the standings.

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"It was nice to get the first podium of the season just as the Showdown starts," Laverty said. "All credit to the Tyco BMW team. I had a bit of a moan at the end of the Oulton Park saying there was something not right with the bike and it wasn't riding how it should be.

"They built me a new bike this weekend and from the first laps it felt like I finally had a motorbike I could race with thanks to them and the new swing arm. We are starting to make inroads to where we need to be.

"It was a good race for me, we took a bit of a gamble and went with the harder rear tyre with everyone else on the softer option. I knew I was going to struggle to hang on in the early laps but then mid-race it started to come back a little bit."

The former MotoGP rider struggled in the changeable conditions in race two at Assen, finishing ninth, and admits he was too cautious on the slippery surface.

"I was just too cautious in that second race but the conditions were horrible," he said. "When I started to get going I got a false neutral and ran across the gravel and had to fight my way back up again. It's not ideal but we will take the positives, especially the race one podium.

"I can go to Silverstone in the confidence that we have found the set-up we need to be competitive. Third place in the championship is my target, we have still got five races to try to pull back some points and I think we can come back even stronger from here."