Round 10 of the championship takes place at Donington Park The circuit located on the grounds of castle Donington plays host to the first round of the Showdown, The circuit is known for it its fast flowing layout with multiple well known sections from the fast Craner cruvers to the Dunlop Straight even without the Tyre over the track right round to the Melbourne hairpin the circuit is one of the most fun circuits on the calendar in my opinion.
Circuit Length: 2.487 Miles
MCE BSB Record: Shane Byrne Kawasaki 1:29.512 (2015)
With this being the first round of the showdown I thought I would review how each of the top six’s seasons have gone and how they qualified for the showdown itself.
- Leon Haslam: Haslam joined the JG Speedfit team late in the off season after being unable to secure a competitive WSBK ride, Haslam is without doubt one of the most skillful riders to have ever ridden in the British Superbike championship finishing as high as 2nd place overall in the World championship in 2010, In his 4 years prior to leaving the BSB championship Haslam never secured a title finishing 2nd in 2006 to Ryuichi Kiyonari and 2nd again in 2008 to non other than Shane Byrne. Haslam season started off with a retirement and a 5th place as he found the transition from the full electrics of WSBK to non in BSB a tricky one but since the 1st round he has been up the front challenging despite the struggles to find a good set up for the bike that mixed with trips back and forth to Japan for the Suzuka 8 hour caused a series of low results mid season. But at just the right time he and the team have found just the right form going into the showdown scoring 8 podiums since round 7 three 2nds and four 1sts that leave him on top of the Podium credits table with a lead of three points over Byrne in 2nd place.
- Shane Byrne: The 4 time champion is very much still the main man of BSB he and his team teamed up with Ducati once again a manufacturer he has so much success with in the past winning two of his four BSB titles on Ducati Machinery. Byrne’s season has been one of consistency setting his stall out at round 1 with a brace of seconds when the general consensus was that he and the Paul Bird team would struggle early on with the Panigale. The second round of the season was a struggle for the team with Byrne only managing to gain an 8th and 6th place finishes, But since then he has went onto podium 9 out of the last 15 races with 7 wins included in that spell. A less than stellar round 8 lost Byrne his lead in podium table but with only a 3 point gap and three circuits where he is known to excel anyone counting him out of the hunt would be crazy.
- Jason O’Halloran: After his near career threatening accident last season to see O’Halloran performing this way is truly amazing, Everyone has known he has had the talent since his debut with the Honda team in 2010 in the British Supersport Championship. O’Halloran has had his best season to date in BSB finishing well up the field and contending at every round he took his first ever win at the Snetterton Round of the championship and currently holds 3rd position in the podium credits table.
- James Ellison:Ellison began the year as many people tips for title remaining with the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team for a 3rd year he looked to have the experience needed to start the season strong and build up a strong lead unfortunately for him it didnt work out like that a 13th and 8th in the first round of the season meant he was always playing catch up it seemed that 2016 was a much different bike than the previous years bike and Ellison sturggled to adapt to it. His up and down form continued well into the season his results ranged from 2nd to failing to finish fortunately for him others in front of him also started to struggle and he found form just in time to secure his showdown place at the final opportunity.
- Dan Linfoot: Linfoot is coming into the showdown on extremely low form falling in the final race last weekend scrapping into the showdown by the narrowest of margins the recent form of the Honda man hasnt been fantastic, He did manage to score a podium in race 2 at Oulton Park but in the rounds leading up to last weekend he had been struggling to score solid points. On his day Linfoot is a match for anyone in the top 6 only failing to score a win earlier in year due to his bike trying to send him into space coming out of the final corner at Snetterton losing out to his team mate on the line.
- Luke Mossey: Mossey the youngest and least experience man in the showdown in only his second season in BSB he has shown the raw talent and speed to already make him a top contender in the class, Securing a very respectable 7th place in the championship last season the young english rider has went on from strength to strength this year securing podiums finishes and multiple pole positions. While he has improved massively in a short space of time there are still question marks over how he copes over a full race distance at times this year while looking strong he has worn out the tyres and fallen down the field this year may not be his year for the title but it wont be long for him.
Those are your top 6 of course the rest of the field will be hoping to spoil the party for them with riders like Michael Laverty,Tommy Bridewell and Peter Hickman all wanting to show why they deserve top rides next season and a chance to be in the showdown next season.
Danny Buchan has split from the newly formed MSS Tsingtao team due to a difference in opinion.
Philip Neill team boss of the TYCO BMW is unable to hide his disappointment at neither of his riders making it to the top 6.
After his huge crash at Oulton it was revealed that Jake Dixon suffered a fractured Hip
Saturday 16:00pm Eurosport 2 Qualifying and British Supersport sprint race
Sunday 13:00pm Eurosport 2 Full Race meeting.