Scott Redding believes four riders, including Spanish sensation Marc Marquez, stand between him and capturing the 2012 Moto2 world championship.
The Marc VDS Racing rider has impressed during pre-season testing and he heads to the first race in Qatar next week as one of the pre-season favourites.
But the Gloucestershire rider believes Marquez heads a list of four big names that pose the biggest threat to his title ambitions.
Marquez made a startling return to action at the recent Jerez test in Spain to lap inside the top six after a five-month lay-off with a right eye problem he suffered in Sepang last October.
And Redding told MCN: “Obviously Marquez is going to be strong. He is a good rider and it is good that he came back. He has got something special about him and he keeps getting up and battling.
"He gets results so what he is putting in he is getting back. He is still fast and for sure he is going to be running at the front. I know I can run with him though and I know that I am as fast as him and I think it will be good to battle with him at the front.”
Redding’s other hot tips include Thomas Luthi, Pol Espargaro and Andrea Iannone.
He added: “Luthi and Espargaro will definitely be there or thereabouts. Never count out Iannone too. He might be struggling in testing but come race day he is capable of something completely different.”
Redding was seventh quickest at the final pre-season test in Jerez last week and prior to that he’d never been outside of the top two in three previous tests at Jerez and Valencia.
Redding is aware that he needs to raise his game having failed to score a single podium finish in 2011, but he’s much happier and confident after a switch to the Kalex frame from Suter.
He said: “I’ve been with the team for three years and it has taken a while and we have always been there or thereabouts but always been towards the end of the season and it needs to be at the beginning.
"All the pre-season has gone really well and my training has been good and I feel happier in myself and more confident in what we can do. The only thing left is down to me.
"We’ve been fast in testing so we have proved that I do get on with the bike and there is no reason why we can’t be up there.”