Isle of Man TT great John McGuinness claimed 8th in his final short circuit outing of the season at Brands Hatch on Sunday.
Racing for Padgetts Honda, McGuinness enjoyed a strong end to his National Superstock 1000cc campaign around the 2.43-mile Grand Prix circuit.
He claimed 10th in qualifying, just 0.7 of a second off the pole position lap set by teammate Adam Jenkinson.
A brilliant start to the 16-lap race saw McGuinness up to 6th at the end of lap one. By lap 6 he had been pushed back to 9th, but the racing was so close he was still less then 2 seconds behind leader, and 2012 champion, Keith Farmer.
There was little to choose between the leading 12 riders, but at half race distance the safety car was deployed due to an accident and positions remained the same for the next four laps.
When racing resumed there were just four laps left and McGuinness moved back up the order to claim 8th at the chequered flag, still only 2.7s behind Farmer.
“That’s just the kind of race I wanted this weekend and it's a good way to end the year.”
“I always enjoy riding the GP circuit at Brands and with some fine weather, I got stuck in from the start and was as high as 5th in qualifying before being pushed back to 10th in the closing stages.”
“I felt strong going into the race and got an absolutely blinding start and from there on in, it was flat out racing all the way to the flag. I've finished in the top 10 a few times during 2012, but have been a bit disappointed at the gaps to the leaders. Today, I was right with them.”
“I'd liked to have finished higher, of course I would, but to be so close to the race winner - and champion - shows I'm riding as well as ever and I'm delighted with the result. The Padgetts team again worked brilliantly all weekend so a big thank you to them and I can now look forward to Macau and my final race of the year.”
His next outing is at next month's Macau Grand Prix, from November 15-17, where he'll line up for the SMT Racing Honda team.
McGuinness is also set to make an appearance at the TT Paddock Experience at the Motorcycle Live Show in Birmingham at the end of November.
Advance tickets for Motorcycle Live 2012 (purchased before 5pm on Friday 23 November) cost just £16 per adult, £10 for seniors and £6 per child. To book your tickets, call 0844 581 2345 or visit www.motorcyclelive.co.uk