SO SAY THE RIDERS
We asked the two most experienced riders in The Showdown as well as one of the first-timers for their take on the process.
Shane Byrne – Five-times BSB champion
I still think it’s a hard situation for the riders to be in but no-one can argue it’s not a great end to the season. The fans want to see the championship decided at the final round and in the final race but looking at social media and all aspects around the championship, it seems clear not many people are totally for the Showdown.
It’s worked for and against me in the past but this year it’s probably gone in my favour. I’ve had a few crashes and a few non-scores but still got into the Showdown leading the championship which was obviously good for me. It is what it is and seemingly here to stay so it’s all about doing the best job I possibly can in three rounds and seven races.
Peter Hickman – BSB Showdown rookie
It’s the same for everyone but it’s not something I necessarily agree with. For me, championship positions and the title itself should be determined by the rider with the most points over the course of the full season. In the Showdown, the title could go to the rider who hasn’t scored the most points over the 12 rounds but who’s done the best in three rounds which doesn’t feel quite right.
It’s gone against me in the past and even last year I think I would have finished fifth overall on total points scored and not the seventh where I ended up. I’ve been consistent all year long so I’ll approach the final three rounds in exactly the same way I’ve approached the others. That’s stood me in good stead for rounds one to nine so will serve me well in the final three as well.
Josh Brookes – 2015 BSB champion
I’ve never known anything different to the Showdown; I haven’t raced with it in a different way, so you have to accept what it is. I enjoy racing motorcycles, it’s not dictated only by the design of the rules and the points system.
Where under conventional rules if you’re in the title chase you still have a chance that your nearest rival will have the misfortune that you’ve had, and you kind of rest your hopes on that. Whereas in the Showdown you have six guys all very close on points so you have to be very wary not to have a DNF. It’s a different mentality of what risk you can afford to take,
The British Superbike Championship is the highest viewed and contested domestic series, so I think that is credit to the series design. It must work because the viewing audience is high, the sponsors are motivated to continue and that means the people who are getting involved are seeing a return in their investment and I think it’s because people are tuning in and turning up to races. It’s like a premiere for the main event, it’s got elements that you can’t argue aren’t interesting or entertaining
So, from my perspective if that’s what works, and that is what keeps us racing, and that’s what keeps it entertaining then how can you criticise it?