James Westmoreland says he's aiming for the podium in the MCE British Superbike season opener at Donington Park and hopes to make significant gains ahead of qualifying.

The JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider ended the afternoon session ninth quickest on the timesheets while his team-mate James Ellison was P3, which shows the team has strong pace ahead of the first round of the 2015 season.

Westmoreland is determined to continue improving his ZX-10R and has his sights firmly set on the podium places for Easter Monday's races.

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"We need to improve again as everybody is pushing hard, we need to make the same step up that we did between FP1 to FP2 for FP2 to FP3," Westmoreland said. "I'm very, very happy with the work we've put in and our race pace. Since I've jumped on the bike we've come across a few problems but my feeling on the bike has always been incredible. I haven't had that for a very long time.

"Initially we are aiming to be on podium. Our bike is good but with everybody pushing hard you never know. We need two solid finishes in the top six and I need to get on the podium as quick as I can."

Westmoreland feels all the BSB teams have been struggling with rear-wheel grip on the cold track but with the weather forecast pointing to warmer conditions for qualifying and the two races, the rider expects lap times to keep falling.

"I feel good around here but you've got to ride to within the track conditions," he said. "With the cold conditions you can't expect to immediately grab a 29.5 because you are going to crash.

"I've got problems with grip but everyone is in the same boat and it is mostly down to the low temperatures. But the forecast is better over the weekend and I think the track will get faster."