Michael Laverty believes he can be considered a genuine threat for the 2011 MCE British Superbike Championship title after notching up a 1-2-3 results tally at Cadwell Park.
Having been on the verge of making the title shootout with just the Cadwell Park round remaining, the Swan Yamaha rider secured his place in the best way possible by scorching to only his second win of the season over team-mate Tommy Hill.
Coming on the weekend he claimed his first-ever pole position, Laverty started the final two races from the top spot, but while he led both early on, he couldn't fend off the advances of Hill, while Brookes also got ahead of him in race three.
Nonetheless, the Ulsterman feels his Cadwell Park success gives him plenty of momentum heading into the Showdown.
"There wasn't any more I could have done in the second race to try and get the win. I just tried to adjust the traction during the race as I was struggling a bit with side grip in places and that meant I was unable to catch him again. I hadn't made any real changes from the first race through to today so we looked at the data to see what could resolve the issue.
“I was happy to have been on the podium in that last race again but to be honest I didn't realise that Josh Brookes was that close to me and I made a few mistakes and it gave him the chance he needed to make a move. I had wanted to try and make a move on Tommy Hill on the last lap and I am kicking myself a bit now not to have tried to do it sooner to try and win another race here.
“It was a pity not to have won but I think we should be getting our share in the Showdown. I think this weekend has shown that I am a title contender and I won't be giving up without a fight.”
Laverty will begin the three-round shootout with 510 points, 19 points behind leader Hill.