The British Superbike championship heads into it’s final phase with a showdown between the top 6 riders for the title over the next 3 rounds at Croft, Silverstone and Oulton Park.
After the last round at Cadwell Park the top 6 was set and their score increased to 500 and then podium credits that they’d accumulated through the season added. So the table currently looks like this.
|1||Ryuichi Kiyonari||HM Plant Honda||525|
|2||Tommy Hill||Worx Suzuki||525|
|3||Joshua Brookes||HM Plant Honda||524|
|4||Michael Rutter||Riders Ducati||510|
|5||Michael Laverty||Relentless Suzuki||509|
|6||Alastair Seeley||Relentless Suzuki||505|
With a single point separating top 3 it really could go down to the wire. Ryuichi Kiyonari is no stranger to fighting for BSB titles after finishing 2nd behind Gregorio Lavillia in 2005 before taking consecutive titles in 2006 and 2007. He has 4 wins so far this season and 8 other podium finishes and will look to continue that sort of form over the final 3 rounds and clinch a 3rd BSB title.
After a blistering start to the season Tommy Hill lead the championship by 36 points at one stage before poor results at Mallory Park and Knockhill cut his lead, a first and second at the last round at Cadwell Park saw him earn the podium credits needed to put him level with Kiyonari at the top. After missing almost the entire 2008 season through injury and losing his World Superbike ride halfway through 2009 a British Superbike Title would be a big confidence boost for Hill.
Josh Brookes wasn’t the most popular person in the BSB paddock following a few controversial incidents during the 2009 season. This season however with 5 wins to his name he’s proved to be competitive and with only a point between himself, Hill and Kiyonari he’ll be looking to add to that win total and add a British Superbike title to the Australian Superbike and Supersport titles he won in 2005.
Rutter, Laverty and Seeley will need some good results and some luck to go their way if their going to overhaul the top 3 for the title. With only one win each they’ll really need to up their game if their going to challenge for the title, Michael Lavery’s win did come at Oulton Park however and with 3 races there during the final round he could be a surprise contender if other results go his way.
The showdown kicks off this weekend at Croft with rounds at Silverstone on the 26th of September and Oulton Park on the 10th of November to follow. With it being so close at the top of the table it should be a great finish to the British Superbike season.
Mike Evans, written for www.girlracer.co.uk
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