Teenager Joe Francis celebrated his first ever podium finish in the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship thanks to a superb third-placed finish at Donington at the weekend.

Francis, 16, from Backford, moved his way up from seventh on the grid to claim third spot, coming out on top in a thrilling duel with Alex Aulestia.

Francis, who was British Moto3 Motorstar champion in 2013, has made the step up to the National Superstock 600 series this season.

On his Pacedayz Trackdays Yamaha, Francis currently lies in ninth in the overall standings after three rounds but admitted his podium finish was unexpected.

“I was made up to make the podium and get third as me and the team weren’t expecting it to be honest,” he said.

“It was a really good weekend and it gives me something solid to build on.

“It was quite wet for qualifying but I managed to get seventh on the grid. During the race itself I moved up to sixth on the first corner but I nearly crashed and lost it so I moved down to about 12th.

“From there I just moved up the grid and picked people off. It was really pleasing.”

Since moving up to the Superstock 600 series this season, Francis said he had struggled to get to grips with it but felt that things were now moving in the right direction.

“I’ve struggled with the 600 series so far as I’d had about six months away from the bike,” said Francis, who thanked sponsors Bennetts, Hendersons and Shark Helmets for their support this season.

“With the podium finish now though I feel like I’ve got the feeling for the bike and that I’m able to challenge for a podium finish in every race now. That’s the aim.”