Atsushi Watanabe is determined to mount a late season bid to rescue his reputation following his best Bennetts British Superbike round of the season at Cadwell Park.
The two-time All-Japan Superbike Champion came to the British Championship with high hopes of emulating countrymen Yukio Kagayama and Ryuichi Kiyonari, but has struggled to adapt to the rigours of the series.
Nonetheless, while Cadwell Park, with its slender layout and unusual features, was expected to pose a challenge for Watanabe, he rose to them admirably by battling well inside the top ten in both races.
Also riding high on the confidence of his run to the podium in the Suzuka 8 Hours last month, Watanabe hopes his ninth and seventh place finishes on the Rizla Suzuki will help him towards a strong end to the year.
“Race two I enjoy fight with Karl Harris and Michael Laverty. My Rizla Suzuki is performing very well and the engine braking and throttle response gives me much confidence. Passing Michael was difficult as his Suzuki has similar speed but I really wanted good result.
“Cadwell Park is track I like, although the Mountain is still scary. I feel that my Rizla Suzuki is better than ever and I am now looking forward to the rest of the season, I cannot wait for Croft.”
Team principal Jack Valentine also paid tribute to Watanabe for making the most of his decent starting position and post a pair of reasonable finishes.
“Atsu has proved a point this round by conquering the hardest circuit on the BSB calendar and taking his best result so far and quite a few good scalps in the process. He has found confidence in his Rizla Suzuki and is riding like a different man compared to earlier in the year, he is showing his talent and we like what we see.”