Atsushi Watanabe is keen to show what he is capable of after producing his best qualifying effort of the season in the latest round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Cadwell Park.
The two-time Japanese Superbike Champion has struggled to adapt to the British Championship since his switch earlier this year and he has been comprehensively out paced by Rizla Suzuki team-mate Tom Sykes.
However, while the undulating Cadwell Park circuit, with its slender, high-speed layout, was expected to pose a considerable challenge for Watanabe, he rose to the challenge by sneaking into the new top ten 'shootout' in qualifying.
Once there, Watanabe was able to secure eighth place on the grid, his best starting position of the season.
“I am happy with lap time but make some mistakes. I still learning this track, it is not the easiest with many hills and narrow Tarmac but I like anyway.
“I feel recharged for racing after my podium at Suzuka eight hour race and visit home to Japan. I want a strong finish to the season – to show British fans what Atsu can really achieve.”
Team manager Jack Valentine, meanwhile, was also pleased with Watanabe's upturn in form this weekend, but he is keen now for him to maintain it into the races.
“Atsu I am really pleased with; he is showing his best form at a difficult technical track and his potential is clear. He has a great starting position and we will be looking for fireworks from him in the races.”