Max Biaggi says he cannot afford to make any more mistakes in his quest to secure the 2012 World Superbike Championship, but admits he must also push as hard as he can to keep Marco Melandri and Tom Sykes behind him with just two rounds remaining.
With just 9.5 points between Biaggi and Melandri in the overall standings, the fight for the 2012 title looks set to come down to a final round showdown at Magny-Cours, though both riders could give their hopes a significant boost with a strong showing at this weekend's Portimao round.
With Sykes also in the hunt 26.5 points adrift, Biaggi is refusing to get complacent despite snatching back the WSBK advantage last time out at the Nurburgring with a return to the top step of the podium.
At the same time, Aprilia rider Biaggi – who also fell during the second race in Germany – admits any mistake from now could prove pivotal to the outcome of this year's championship.
“The races at the Nürburgring have given us more strength as well as first place in the championship,” he said. “In any case this is not the time to loosen our grip – quite the contrary, given how close the standings are. As I said, every race from here to the end will be a match point and every mistake could prove to be fatal.
“I expect to do well at Portimao. It's a track I like and where I have always had good races, but I'm sure that our rivals will make life difficult for us.”