Lexelle-sponsored rider Taylor Mackenzie claimed his highest place finish in the premier class of the British Superbike Championships at Knockhill.

Taylor, who is recovering from arm surgery, was battling for the podium in a hard fought first race but had to settle for fifth at the chequered flag.

For the first time in two years he was free from arm pump and, along with updated parts for his Bennetts Suzuki, he was able to run much further up the field.

Through practice and qualifying he gradually improved the bike giving him a career-best third row grid position.

A strong start in both races saw him finish 5th and 11th respectively but most importantly he was able to run good lap times in both races.

His fitness isn’t at 100 per cent due to the surgery but he is expected to improve substantially by the next round at Snetterton.

Taylor Mackenzie Knockhill

“I would have taken fifth all day to be honest, but we were in that battle for the podium,” Taylor said.

“There were areas I was making up time, but I missed a gear coming out of the hairpin and they just broke the tow.

“I didn’t want to push and risk a crash, so I settled for that fifth.

“It’s more than we could have asked for and shows how far we’ve come on.”

Taylor admitted he was struggling a bit physically by the second race but was able to hang in there to seal more championship points.

“It was just survival really,” Taylor added.

“I haven’t ridden in so long and after the surgery I couldn’t do any strength training, and I was just really struggling. Not with arm-pump, just strength.

“But I’m going away happy – we’ve made lots of changes and the bike’s better, I’m better.

“I’ll try and get out and get some laps in before Snetterton, just time on the bike. I saw this as the start of my season and it’s a good place to be starting from.”

More information can be found on on the British Superbikes website