Christian Iddon says he's flattered to be considered a dark horse in the MCE British Superbike title race this season but is keen to find consistency and rhythm with his new Tyco BMW squad over the opening rounds.
The Stockport-born rider is gearing up for his maiden BSB campaign with Tyco BMW having switched from Bennetts Suzuki over the winter after an impressive end to the 2015 campaign by notching up three top five finishes in the final four races.
Joining alongside one of the title favourites Michael Laverty as his team-mate, Iddon is being tipped has a definite Showdown contender this season and while the 31-year-old appreciates the tag he want to find consistency to provide the results he can fight at the front.
“BSB this year is so stacked and another level again on last year so it is very nice to be considered at the top and I appreciate the people who believe me,” Iddon said. “The main thing I need is the team believing in me and I think I have that. I also need to believe in myself and I've got that but it has been a difficult couple of seasons.
“I'm desperate to have a solid, strong season and stay in the same place for more than a year because when the times are so close and you don't get that consistency on the same bike.”
Looking ahead to the 2016 season opener at Silverstone, Iddon is aiming to make small tweaks during practice to get a firmer response from the front in corners plus a little more stability from the rear tyre on corner exits.
The Northamptonshire circuit is notorious for its heavy use on tyres and during the official BSB pre-season test at the track Iddon noted his pace increased as the rear tyre faded on long stints and will hope to use that to his advantage.
“The BMW is a good bike already and judging from what the team has said and what Michael has said it is another step up from last year,” he explained. “It was very prominent at Silverstone that as the run went on I was more comfortable on the bike. You lose the mechanical grip because the tyre starts to go off but I was feeling happier by the way I could spin the bike up.
“We may make the bike worse for a perfect set-up to make it smoother, specifically at Silverstone. I was quicker as the tyre was going worse at Silverstone which is the wrong way around but maybe letting it spin a bit would help.”