A pair of third places in front of his home fans at Donington Park on Sunday edged Tom Sykes nearer to Max Biaggi and the 2012 World Superbike title lead.

Starting from pole for the fourth time this year, the Kawasaki star led both thrilling races. Sykes finished 1.6sec from victory in race one, then benefited from the last turn chaos to pass both of the fallen BMWs in race two.

"Race one was a fantastic race, I really enjoyed it and it certainly felt like a long one as it seemed to go on for many laps. Overall I think we had a very good show, lots of passing and a little bit too much at some corners, especially at the Foggy Esses, which seemed to claim a few victims. Unfortunately we seemed to struggle at one particular part of the track and that definitely affected our race performance.

"Yet again we got the holeshot and led for a number of laps in race two, but I was missing a bit of feeling with the wind, which was unfortunate. I managed to stay out front but made one mistake and all the other guys came past at a rate of knots. We didn't quite have the best setting this weekend but a pole position and two podiums are great for myself and the Kawasaki team.

"I had the best seat in the house for the last couple of laps of race two, but for me five minus two equals a podium so I'm very happy!" he smiled.

The Englishman has now scored five podiums in the nine races so far, including his Monza win. Sykes sits just five points from Biaggi and 15.5 ahead of Honda's Jonathan Rea, in third.