CRAIG Beggs is getting used to life on the rostrum after he scooped third in the ninth round of the National Superstock Cup at Oulton Park on Saturday.
The 23-year-old from Wistaston wondered if he would ever manage a top-three finish this season when he endured a trio of fourth-place finishes, at Donington Park, Thruxton and Snetterton.
But taking part in a round of the Superstock Championship at Donington Park early this month sparked a turnaround. The extra speed of the event inspired him to go quicker.
Beggs, a technical support engineer for Bentley Motors, powered to respective second and third-place finishes at Knockhill on July 15 and 16, before snatching third at Oulton Park at the weekend.
He said: 'I'm really pleased. Doing that Championship round really helped, as the others pulled me along and there was nobody to hold you up.
'I realised that's the standard I'll have to compete at next year and it spurred me on. The bike is just right now and I've found some consistency. I really believe I can finish in the top three overall.'
He added: 'At Oulton Park I qualified fifth but was leading into the first corner in the final. I was trying my heart out to stay there, but ended up a comfortable third.'
Beggs now sits fourth in the overall championship, just seven points behind Kenny Gilbertson in third.
There are five rounds left, with the next at Croft on August 11.
Beggs, who races on a Yamaha R1, would like to thank sponsors Free-styleExtreme, Neil Beckett Racing, EnviroStrip UK Ltd, Two Wheel Tyres and Beta Graphix.
Meanwhile, Stu Wilson is contemplating spending the rest of the Superstock Championship on the sidelines after a horrific accident left his collar bone snapped in two.
The Crewe ace, 26, came off at Knock-hill and landing on his shoulder and head, knocking him unconscious. It ruled him out of the round at Oulton Park and the next at Croft. And his lay-off could be lengthened if the results of a scan in 10 days time are not favourable.
Wilson, who has been tipped for a Superbike ride next year, explained: 'I came off at Donington Park and then at Knockhill in the space of two weeks.
'If I hadn't had bad luck this season, I wouldn't have had any! At practice at Knockhill, I came in to take the spare bike out, which was set-up differently.
It just spat me off.
'It is a really bad break and could need surgery. I just have to wait. I am really upset for all the people who support me, and hope to be back this season. But if I have to rest to get ready for next year, I will. I have had worse and bounced back before, so I will do it again. You get used to being in pain.'