Stuart Easton wasted no time as he signalled his intentions by taking provisional pole on the Mar-Train Racing Yamaha at Brands Hatch on Friday.
The Scottish star currently leads the championship by 19 points over Ulster rival Alastair Seeley going into Saturday’s first of two title-deciding British Supersport races at the Kent track.
Easton’s fastest lap of 1m 29.910s put him 0.109s clear of Richard Cooper in second on the Oxford TAG Triumph, with Seeley on the Gearlink Kawasaki 0.594s off the pace in fourth place.
Hawick man Easton, who has already confirmed a deal to move back to the British Superbike Championship with Paul Bird’s Kawasaki team next year, was in relaxed mood after Friday’s opening two practice sessions.
“This is my last weekend with Mar-Train Racing in the British championship before moving back to the Superbike class, so the plan is to come away with the championship this weekend.
“All we need to do is keep doing what we’ve done every other weekend this year. I know the R6 is a good package and the team is good, as they’ve proved for the past two seasons,” he added.
“All I have to do now is complete my job so hopefully everything will come together on the weekend.”
The Northern Ireland team agonisingly missed out on the title in 2012 at Brands Hatch after Jack Kennedy suffered a technical DNF in the final race and Mar-Train Racing boss Tim Martin is praying for a different outcome.
“Everyone in the team knows what we have to do this weekend. All the talk and speculation will be over on Sunday night,” he said. “From our point of view the pressure is definitely on Alastair Seeley, as we don’t need to win now at Brands, we just need to finish behind him.”