A potentially crucial victory and fourth place finish for Ben Spies at Magny-Cours means he will be in 'control of his destiny' at the World Superbike showdown in Portugal, the American knowing two wins will be enough to take the title.
Spies endured a day of mixed emotions in France after his outstanding victory in race one was overshadowed by a lacklustre run to fourth in the second due to an unknown tyre issue.
Nonetheless, while he is now ten points behind Noriyuki Haga heading to the Portimao season finale, he realises a double victory around one of the few circuits he has previously experienced will see him crowned champion, regardless of what his rival achieves.
“This makes the equation very simple for me at Portimao,” he said. “I've been in this position before where I needed to win to earn a championship, so it's not new.”
“Realistically, even if I'd won race two Nori would have been close enough in the points that I would still have to win at Portimao, so nothing's changed. We have to put together a perfect weekend in Portugal.
As Spies mentions, this isn't an unfamiliar situation for him to be in having overhauled Mat Mladin at the final round of the 2007 AMA Superbike Championship to win the title.
With MotoGP beckoning for 2010, Spies recognises that he faces a tough competitor in Haga, reiterating his respect for his rival by labelling him 'one of the greatest World Superbike racers of all time'.
“It's still possible to win the championship and just to be in that position is a great feeling. Regardless of how it turns out I feel like I've had a phenomenal season.
“I'm a rookie here racing a world championship on tracks I don't know against one of the greatest World Superbike racers of all time. To even be in the position to fight for this title with Nori is more than I could have expected.”
“I'm going to race hard. Portimao is one of my favourite tracks and I'm looking forward to racing there.”