There may still be two rounds to go in the 2010 World Supersport season, but Eugene Laverty thinks this weekend's Imola round will prove decisive in terms of whether he or Kenan Sofuoglu lifts the crown.
Just twelve points, in Sofuoglu's favour, separate the title rivals heading into round twelve - meaning that even if Laverty wins both remaining races, and Sofuoglu finishes second each time, Sofuoglu will win the championship by two points.
Sofuoglu was the fastest WSS rider in the summer tyre tests sessions at Imola, an event that Laverty's Parkalgar team did not attend.
"Imola is one of my favourite circuits and I was able to get a very fast lap time during our test their in July so I am really looking forward to the weekend," said Sofuoglu, who is aiming for his second WSS title.
"I really want to go for another win in Imola so that there is not so much pressure in the last race at Magny-Cours. However, we all know that it will be very tough and that we need a lot of luck in Imola to make it happen the way we want.”
Laverty expects both Honda riders to approach Sunday's race as if it was the title decider.
“This will be a very important weekend between me and Kenan," said Laverty. "He will be going in with the same attitude as me because I am closing in on him.
"He knows he needs to win, and I definitely need to win because I have absolutely nothing to lose after what happened in Germany. When Gino Rea got disqualified, I really could have done without that.
"I think this weekend will decide things, so I don't think Kenan is going to sit there and settle. There will be other factors at work this weekend, Gino and Broc Parkes should be strong again and Chaz Davies, he was good at Imola last year in his debut WSS race.”
Laverty is moving up to the Yamaha World Superbike team next season, while Sofuoglu has been linked with Moto2.