Jakub Smrz produced further evidence that he can be a threat over a race distance after producing a charging ride to second position at Miller Motorsports Park for only his third career World Superbike podium finish.
Having just missed out on pole position in qualifying, the Czech rider slipped to seventh position at the end of the opening lap when he briefly ran off the circuit. Despite this, Smrz – a renowned one-lap specialist – fought back, working his way into contention as the race progressed.
Making up significant ground in the second-half of the race, Smrz disposed of Eugene Laverty to climb onto the provisional podium on lap 14, before catching and passing Effenbert-Liberty Ducati team-mate Sylvain Guintoli for second.
His second podium of the season – one that matches his career-best finish from Donington Park -, Smrz was delighted with his impressive race pace.
“I am extremely satisfied today,” Smrz, who finished seventh in race two, said. “The team did a great job providing me with an excellent bike that allowed me to reach the second podium of the season.
“Sadly in race two I had problems with the rear wheel and I could not push as I wanted. We will carefully analyse the reasons of this problem but the results remain very positive.
“Now we go to Misano, a circuit that I like very much and where I already managed a first placement in Superpole and where I am planning to improve even more.”
Smrz holds ninth in the World Superbike standings, but is just 12 points behind fifth.