Whakatāne's Damon Rees has taken no time acclimatising to British motorcycle racing.
The third round of the British National Superstock 1000 Championship was held at the iconic Silverstone Circuit at the weekend and Rees has held on to third place overall.
With limited testing time due to Covid-19, free practice one was Rees' first time riding the circuit, going into the practice session. Completing 24 laps within the 30 minute session, he ended in 16th position, 1.273 seconds off the fastest time set by Danny Kent.
Free practice two was held later in the day and Rees, now more familiar with the circuit, as well as making adjustments to his BMW S1000rr, dramatically improved his lap time and finished the session sixth, just 0.216s off the fastest time set by Rouse.
The top 17 in the session were covered by just one second, demonstrating how competitive the championship is.
With the free practice times being close it was vitally important for Rees to get a good starting position for race one of the weekend.
After making a few setup changes during the qualifying session Rees managed to improve his lap times on each circulation eventually posting a lap time of 54.394s which was good enough for second position on the grid, only 0.218s off Danny Kent's pole position time.
Speaking after qualifying, Rees said: "I was feeling really confident going into qualifying, I knew what I needed do."
Fellow New Zealander Shane Richardson started from ninth on the grid, 0.628s off pole.
Race one was over 24 laps on Saturday. Rees got off to a fantastic start, managing to get the hole-shot and lead into the first corner. By the end of the opening lap Rees was leading Tim Neave and Chrissy Rouse by 0.297s.
Rees held on to the lead of the race until the end of lap seven when he was passed by Neave. By mid-race Rees encountered an issue with his quick shifter and dropped back to fourth, behind his championship rivals.
For the remaining five laps Rees battled with Kent and Rollo for third position, eventually missing out on the final step of the podium by one second.
After the race Rees said he was happy with his effort.
"Of course I would have loved to be on the podium, but P4 finish is great toward overall championship points."
Rees's teammate Richardson had a strong race, finishing eighth to claim some valuable championship points.
The second 24 lap race was held on Sunday afternoon and Rees started from sixth on the grid with positions determined by the riders fastest lap time in race one.
The race got off to a frantic start with Lewis Rollo taking the lead on the opening lap while Rees held on to his starting position. By lap eight the leading six had pulled away from the rest of the field.
After conserving his tyres, Rees, with two laps remaining, passed Rollo for fifth position which he would hold until the finish, Rees finished 1.827s off race winner Neave.
Richardson continued his strong weekend and finished 13th.
After three rounds of the championship and scoring points in each race, Rees is now 36 points behind championship leader Neave.
Round four of the British Superstock 1000 Championship will take place at the picturesque Oulton Park Circuit over the weekend of September 18-19.