ANDOVER teen motorbike racer Jake Archer kept the pressure up on title rival Charlie Nesbitt with a podium finish at Knockhill last weekend.

The 16-year-old, who is trailing Nesbitt in the HEL Performance Motostar Championships, recorded a second- and fifth-place finish at the Scottish track to keep within touching distance of his rival.

Archer started the weekend well, setting the pace early on during a bright Friday morning of free practice.

His lap time of 54.147s was set on his final lap and put him second in the timings.

Rain began to fall as the day went on, however the first of the two qualifying sessions was completed in dry conditions on Friday afternoon.

Archer was running third quickest, despite problems with his gears, when a red flag came out after an accident with three minutes remaining.

When the session restarted he managed to put in an even faster time and moved up to second with a lap time of 53.932s.

On the Saturday the riders completed the second qualifying session of the weekend.

Archer went on to further improve his lap time finishing with a 52.631s.

While this was a reduction of over six tenths of a second, he was unable to achieve pole position and would start the first race on the Sunday in the middle of the front row.

In race one, on Sunday morning, Archer made a good start entering the first corner in second place.

Despite pushing his bike to the maximum he was unable to match the KTM of Nesbitt, who managed to open a lead at the front. Archer battled to keep up but in the end settled for second position.

He successfully maintained a comfortable gap over the third placed rider to collect another secondplace finish at the end of the 16 laps.

The second race of the day was a 22 lap event.

A number of riders, including Nesbitt, had failed to get to the pit lane in time as the rain started to come down and the teams were changing tyres.

This left Archer on his own at the front of the grid.

Archer managed to initially grab this opportunity as he pulled away at the start, however he was quickly pursued by those on the second row.

Archer and Eugene McManus led the way initially but in difficult conditions they were soon caught as Ed Rendell took the lead.

The Andover teen struggled with the difficult conditions but still managed a respectable fifth-place finish.

After the weekend he said: “In the first race I did everything I could to try and stay with Charlie but he was unbelievably fast.

“I rode as hard as I could and got a good second place.

“In the second race I struggled a bit. I had had a fall in warm up in the morning and with the rainy conditions I didn’t have as much confidence as I would have liked.

“Anyway we leave with another solid set of points and look forward to Snetterton.”

Archer remains second in the championship on 103 points.