Chaz Davies showed little sign of abating to any potential team orders laid down by BMW as he held off team-mate Marco Melandri for a strong second place finish at Laguna Seca.
The Welshman, who is still mathematically in with a shout of the WSBK title, came into the race as someone capable of getting amongst the main contenders, a status he hinted at prior to both red flags by fighting his way up to third before going even better at crucial third getaway to power into the lead.
With Melandri slotting into second position initially, it was briefly speculated as to whether Davies would come to the aid his team-mate's fading title hopes and allow him through, but a series of robust defences would suggest otherwise.
Though Davies's hopes of a fourth win of the year would ultimately be scuppered by a charging Tom Sykes with two laps remaining, the former AMA rider was still able to defend from Melandri, whose last lap lunge at turn five merely sent him wide and allowed Davies back through.
Crossing the line in second place to all-but-confirm himself as finishing the year inside the overall top five, Davies was pleased with his day's work.
“Second place is a good result; I am pretty happy. To be on the podium at Laguna is always great. At the second re-start, I made a great start to take the lead.
“For the rest of the race I was just trying to keep my head down and did whatever I could to stay in front. But it was difficult, from mid-race on I was struggling with the front and it was pretty slippery. I did not feel that I had the bike that I had in the cooler conditions this morning.
“There I was really happy with the bike; it was working great. I was able to do 1:23 laps on a really used tyre but in the race, the bike was a bit more nervous and harder to ride. We will address that tonight and try to improve it for race two. For the second race I hope to have another great start and then we will see what is possible then.”