MCE Insurance British Superbike leader Tommy Hill is under pressure from HM Plant Honda riders Ryuichi Kiyonari and Josh Brookes going into this weekend's sixth round at Knockhill.
The Worx Crescent Suzuki rider has seen his advantage in the title chase slashed to just four points after last Sunday's races at Mallory Park, where machine problems sidelined him in the opening race, before a distant eighth place next time out.
Brookes, despite having to run second in each of the races to Kiyonari, closed in on Hill and is feeling confident that he can move into the overall lead in the standings with more strong results in the Scottish round.
Hill is determined to halt the progress of the Aussie and re-assert himself as the leader of the pack, commenting: “Racing has its ups and downs but at Knockhill I will be looking for a return to podium finishes and strong points. I am looking to rebuild my championship lead.”
It will not be easy for Hill as Brookes has good form at the circuit, having taken second and third placings in the corresponding round of last year, and the Aussie says he is up for more of the same, building on his recent rich vein of form.
“I think that both Tommy and Stuart Easton will be back up there again for these races and I want to beat both of them when they are at their best and I think that will be the case at Knockhill,” explained Brookes.
“The second places at Mallory were good results for the championship but I want, and am racing for, wins to keep putting the pressure on Tommy – with two good results this weekend, we could be leading the championship for the first time,” added Brookes.
He faces his own in-team challenges with Kiyonari brimming with confidence after his brilliant winning double at Mallory Park, rides that really underlined his credentials for a third title success in the country's premier series.
The Japanese rider is now up to fourth in the standings and is determined to continue where he left off last Sunday as he bids to improve his position further. “I want to carry the momentum of Mallory Park forwards in what I think will be two tough races.”