Max Biaggi has once again extended his lead in the World Superbike Championship from five to 18 points, despite failing to make it onto the top of the podium at Miller Motorsports Park.
The Italian has been a master of consistency so far this season, his unbroken run of points' finishes negating his relative lack of race wins compared to his closest rivals.
Indeed, having won the opening round of the season at Phillip Island, Biaggi has not collected the winners' champagne in the ensuing ten races. Even so, Biaggi's pair of third place finishes in the United States means he has now built on his advantage in the overall standings for three consecutive rounds.
However, while Biaggi now commands a fairly comfortable 18 point advantage over the competition, the 2010 champion is wary of the improvements coming from BMW and Honda in particular and has urged Aprilia to up its game if it is to maintain its place at the front.
“Two good races, even if the hectic initial phases made us lose a lot of ground. I was able to recover well and make it to the third step of the podium, but unfortunately overtaking and battling for positions means that you can't lap the way you could on an open track.
“We are leaving the United States ahead in the standings, but the last few races have shown how BMW and Honda have been improving. We need to improve our bike as well, because our rivals' progress is clear.”