CHRISSY Rouse narrowly missed out on a podium finish at his favourite track as the Pirelli National Superstock Championship headed to Cadwell Park at the weekend.

The defending champion took fifth after a dramatic two-part race at the Lincolnshire circuit, but leaves feeling confident about the remainder of the season after two incredible starts and leading the races for a number of laps.

Qualifying eighth on the grid for Sunday’s 15-lap race, Rouse made the start of the day – if not the season – as he powered past five riders to take the lead at the first corner.

However, just as he was passed by local rider Tom Neave on lap three, the race was stopped as rain hit, and re-started over 10 laps with riders lining up in the order they had crossed the line when the flags came out.

From second on the grid, Rouse got another amazing start and shot straight back into the lead, this time holding on to it until lap five, when he was passed by a hard-charging Alex Olsen at turn one.

He managed to keep in second position until lap eight but just didn’t have the pace to carry it to the finish and he was passed by two other riders in the closing laps to eventually cross the line fifth.

Despite missing out on a podium, the Geordie maths teacher returned home to Burnopfield feeling happy with his performance and feels he made good progress with the Stauff Fluid Power Kawasaki.

“It was a really good weekend at Cadwell,” he said. “It may not have been the final result I would’ve hoped for, but still there are lots of positives to take away.

“I feel we made massive steps forward with the bike all weekend and that showed during the race.  It was a great buzz going from eighth to first at the start of the first race it was really great to lead the race in both stints.

“In the end, we just didn’t have the pace to challenge for a podium but it’s clear how much progress we’ve made and I think we can take a lot away from this weekend and improve even more next time.”

Rouse now has a weekend off before the championship resumes at Snetterton over the weekend September   3-5.

*Images: Bonnie Lane