Swan Yamaha will enter the BSB Championship Showdown with momentum on their side after winning all three races at Cadwell Park on Bank Holiday Monday. Michael Laverty got the weekend off to the perfect start by winning Sunday's rescheduled race from Oulton Park before Tommy Hill did the double on Monday, taking the championship lead in the process.
The Yamaha duo fought out a tight battle for the win in race one while the riders behind them scrambled for the final places in the showdown. Josh Brookes and Michael Rutter were two of the riders looking to book their place in the top six and their fight for third became too close for comfort on lap six.
Coming into the Hall Bends, Brookes' Suzuki made contact with Rutter's Ducati, sending him into retirement. Although Brookes continued to finish third behind Laverty and Hill, the stewards later excluded him from the result, promoting Shane Byrne to third ahead of Jon Kirkham, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Gary Mason.
Swan Yamaha also dominated the opening race on Monday but this time, Hill turned the tables on his teammate to claim his sixth win of the year despite a crash in the warm-up. Byrne joined them on the podium once again ahead of Brookes in fourth, while Peter Hickman was a strong fifth.
Jon Kirkham was sixth on the sole Crescent Suzuki but with defending champion Kiyonari in ninth, his title hopes were all but extinguished. The Japanese rider was the only rider yet to confirm his place in the showdown going into race three but with an 18 point advantage over Kirkham, knew that eighth or better would do the trick.
Kiyonari duly delivered, finishing seventh in the final race of the day although Kirkham's failure to win rendered it academic. Victory went to Hill once again but he was forced to work extremely hard to see off Laverty.
The Northern Irishman made a mistake late on which allowed Brookes through into second, denying Shaun Muir's team a hat trick of 1-2 finishes. Laverty still held on to third, denying Byrne a podium credit while Hickman put in another impressive display to take fifth.
With three rounds to go, the stage is now set for the championship showdown, a relatively new system in BSB. This year is just the third time the Showdown has been implemented and in case you are unfamiliar with the concept, all is revealed belowâ€¦
“The Showdown” Explained:
Throughout the season, riders have been collecting podium credits with three points awarded for a victory, two for second and one for third. Before the showdown begins, each of the six riders involved has their overall points total reset to 500 and their podium credits added to give their new score.
By virtue of winning seven races to Shane Byrne's four, Tommy Hill now leads the championship with 529 points, seven ahead of the HM Plant Honda rider. Points will continue to be scored as normal in the remaining three rounds and the man in the top six with the highest score after Brands Hatch will become the 2011 MCE British Superbike Champion.
All riders outside the top six will continue to accumulate points as part of the BSB Riders Cup.
Riders Championship (After Round 9: Cadwell Park)
|1||Tommy Hill||GBR||Yamaha||Swan Yamaha||7||529|
|2||Shane Byrne||GBR||Honda||HM Plant Honda||4||522|
|3||John Hopkins||USA||Suzuki||Samsung Crescent Racing||2||518|
|4||Michael Laverty||GBR||Yamaha||Swan Yamaha||2||510|
|5||Josh Brookes||AUS||Suzuki||Relentless Suzuki by TAS||1||509|
|6||Ryuichi Kiyonari||JAP||Honda||HM Plant Honda||2||508|
|7||Jon Kirkham||GBR||Suzuki||Samsung Crescent Racing||1||145|
|8||Gary Mason||GBR||Kawasaki||MSS Colchester Kawasaki||135|
|9||Michael Rutter||GBR||Ducati||Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati||130|
|10||Peter Hickman||GBR||Honda||Tyco Honda||128|
|11||Loris Baz||FRA||Yamaha||Motorpoint Yamaha||88|
|12||Chris Walker||GBR||Kawasaki||Pr1mo Racing||83|
|13||Martin Jessopp||GBR||Ducati||Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati||74|
|14||Stuart Easton||GBR||Kawasaki||MSS Colchester Kawasaki||69|
|15||James Westmoreland||GBR||Yamaha||Motorpoint Yamaha||59|
|16||Dan Linfoot||GBR||Honda||Team Sorrymate.com||49|
|17||Glen Richards (E)||AUS||Honda||Team WFR||47|
|18||Alex Lowes||GBR||Kawasaki||MSS Colchester Kawasaki||46|
|19||Graeme Gowland (E)||GBR||Honda||Team WFR||40|
|20||Tommy Bridewell||GBR||Honda||Tyco Honda||38|
|21||James Ellison||GBR||Honda||Team Sorrymate.com||22|
|22||Joan Lascorz||SPA||Kawasaki||Kawasaki World Superbike Team||17|
|23||Scott Smart (E)||GBR||Ducati||Moto Rapido Ducati||17|
|24||Ian Lowry||GBR||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||14|
|25||Steve Brogan||GBR||Honda||Jentin Racing Honda||8|
|26||Simon Andrews (E)||GBR||Kawasaki||Buy-Force.com PR Racing Kawasaki||8|
|27||Jake Zemke (E)||USA||Honda||Team WFR||8|
|28||Broc Parkes||AUS||Kawasaki||Kawasaki World Superbike Team||7|
|29||Barry Burrell (E)||GBR||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||7|
|30||John Laverty||GBR||BMW||Buildbase BMW Motorrad||6|
|31||Patric Muff (E)||SWI||Honda||Tyco Honda||6|
|32||Hudson Kennaugh (E)||RSA||Aprilia||Splitlath Motorsport||5|
|33||Karl Harris (E)||GBR||Aprilia||Splitlath Motorsport||4|
|34||Dan Kneen (E)||GBR||Kawasaki||Marks Bloom Racing||3|
|35||Tom Tunstall (E)||GBR||BMW||Doodson Motorsport||1|