Dan Linfoot faces a crunch weekend in his bid to reach the final stage of the British Superbikes Championship.
The Knaresborough rider is clinging on to fifth place, which is enough to qualify for the Championship ‘Showdown’, ahead of this weekend’s triple-header at Oulton Park.
With only 12 points between him and the chasing pack, Linfoot needs no reminder that the pressure is on.
“With three races this weekend for the showdown decider, I’m not in the best of positions,” he said.
“There are three or four guys behind me who could take the place off me if I have a bad weekend.
“I need to be focussing on three strong finishes- ideally three podiums- to secure the showdown place as strongly as I can.
“It’s a track I feel has been quite good to me over the last few years and I’m looking forward to it.”
The Honda speedster, who became a father for the first time in June, hit a purple patch earlier in the season with four consecutive podiums at Knockhill and Snetterton’s tracks.
However, his grip on a showdown spot has loosened after three race weekends he would rather forget.
Linfoot had difficulties with wear on his tyres at Thruxton, struggled for the control of the front of his Fireblade machine at Brands Hatch and crashed out of a race at Cadwell Park.
“The last few events have been really weird for us, to be honest,” Linfoot commented.
“I feel absolutely fine on the bike, as strong as ever, but from track to track we seem to have some different feelings on the bike that hold me back.
“The bike is old and it’s coming to the end of its life but it can be as good as anything out there in the right hands on the right day.
“When everything’s correct I feel like I can be as fast as anybody.”
Fellow Honda rider Jason O’Halloran has already sealed his Showdown spot and narrowly pipped his colleague to a race win at Knockhill, which would have been Linfoot’s first ever victory.
Rather than harbouring resentment at his team-mate’s success, the 28 year-old is heartened by the Australian’s feats on the Fireblade.
“Jason’s been strong, he’s confirmed as one of the top six and obviously I’m looking to do that this weekend,” Linfoot said.
“You can’t take away that he’s riding well and it’s good for me to know that the bike’s capable of that at the tracks I’ve not done it at.
“I’m not jealous of that, I just want to know that my form can be the same.”
With three championship races on the card at Oulton Park for the first time this season, a gruelling weekend is in store for the South Milford resident.
Linfoot will not be taking a different approach despite the demands of another race.
“Oulton is a difficult and physically demanding track anyway, so three races on there will be tough,” he added.
“The Sunday race day is as normal but the Saturday is a bit more busy with another race.”