GRAFHAM’S 21-year-old Metzeler National Superstock 1000 championship rider Jonathan Railton finished fifth at Thruxton on Sunday in the second race of the new season.

His father David Railton told The Hunts Post: “It was probably his best weekend of racing – he has reached a new level and is now fighting with the factory teams.”

On his new InMoto Corse Ducks Cross Racing Kawasaki ZX10r bike, Railton immediately stamped his authority on proceedings at the circuit in Hampshire, setting the second fastest time during the first qualifying session behind Australian Dave Johnson and ahead of several well-known factory riders. Railton's lap of 1 minute 18.1 seconds equated to a lap average of 105 miles per hour. The second qualifying session was wet so the times from the first reflected the grid.

From the very start the race was fast and furious with the top eight riders separated by less than three seconds. Railton was back to eighth at one point but never let the riders ahead of him get away. He fought back to fifth at the flag and was less than 1.5 seconds off the lead.

“Jon is looking forward to the next race at Oulton Park in Cheshire at the beginning of May,” said his father.