Jon Kirkham did his chances of securing a ride in the British Superbike Championship no harm at all by scoring a pair of top ten finishes on his maiden outing with the Rob Mac Yamaha team at Brands Hatch.
Kirkham was called up to the team shortly before qualifying when Karl Harris was forced to withdraw for personal issues, giving him little chance to prepare for what would be his first proper outing on the machine.
Nonetheless, after managing to qualify as the top Yamaha rider with ninth on the grid, Kirkham went on to secure two more top ten finishes in the races.
With commitments in the R1 Cup and also the Superstock series, Kirkham did admit to being 'knackered' by the end of the weekend, but he was delighted all the same to get his chance on Superbike machinery.
"I finished my R1 and Superstock practice yesterday, Rob called me and said get to the garage in your leathers and helmet and before I knew it I was in Role for Pole! I realistically thought that I could get into the second session but to qualify the whole way thorough and into 9th was a dream.
“I wasn't sure whether to do the R1 Cup race but decided to try for the Autumn Cup and got that. I got a bad start in the first Superbike race and had a lot of work to do but managed 9th. The second race I struggled with cramp but was determined to get into the top 10.
To be honest with you I'm knackered, I'm race fit for my Superstock and R1 schedule but to ride a Superbike is a different challenge. I'm so pleased to be offered this opportunity and hopefully I did the team proud."
Kirkham was also praised by team principal Rob McElnea, claiming he didn't put a wheel wrong throughout the weekend, despite the unusual circumstances of his arrival in the team.
"What a massive challenge Jon has risen to this weekend. I was forced to put him in a really difficult situation but when it mattered he rose to the occasion. It was a massive ask and he did not put a foot wrong. To ride our bike like that was a testament to his season. We knew his potential and have nurtured that all year but this really proves his talent."