Sunday, April 3, 2011

2010 British Superbike Championship season

2010 British Superbike season
Previous: 2009 Next: 2011
Support series:
British Supersport Championship
Superstock 1000
Superstock 600
British 125 Champ
The 2010 British Superbike season is the 23rd British Superbike Championship season. Due to the economic climate many rule changes have been discussed including one bike per rider and the banning of electronic aids.The season features a new Evo Class for less-developed bikes and a new 'Showdown' points system to keep the championship close until the end. Former champion Ryuichi Kiyonari returns to the series, as does his countryman Yukio Kagayama. Neil Hodgson briefly returned to the series before retiring due to a shoulder injury. It was the returning Ryuichi Kiyonari who won the championship at the final meeting at Oulton Park, after a very close championship that went down to the very last race of the year.

Rule changes

New for 2010 will be an "Evolution Class", to replace the Privateers Cup, and is designed for teams to enter the championship for a reduced cost. The new rules have attracted larger numbers than the Privateers Cup, and have also attracted three new manufacturers in KTM, Aprilia and BMW. The Evo rules allow for full Superbike rolling chassis allied to stock engines and a control ECU which eliminates rider aids.
Series organisers MotorSport Vision announced a series of rule changes on February 3, 2010. Qualifying has been altered, with the "Roll for Pole" only setting the grid for race one of each weekend. This is due to the race two grid being set by the fastest laps of each rider in race one. Also introduced is a "second chance" system if a rider crashes on lap one, that rider will only drop eight places from where they started the first race. At the pair of triple-race meetings, the same rules apply for race two, but will also be applied for race three.

 Championship restructure

Perhaps the biggest rule change was the dividing of the championship into two parts. The first nine meetings (nineteen races) form the "Main Season" of the championship, before the final three meetings (seven races) make up "The Showdown". The championship change has been introduced after Leon Camier clinched the 2009 title with four races to spare, thus introducing a crescendo of competition.
The normal FIM point-scoring system still applies, with 25 for the winner and a single point for fifteenth. At the end of the Main Season, all riders then drop their two worst scores, which must be from events they have at least qualified for. From this points order, the first six riders in the championship standings will be elevated to a new base level and become the Title Fighters for the final three events and seven races of the championship.
The format is based on the 2007 NASCAR Chase format of rewarding wins with bonus points for the playoff. Unlike the Chase, top-three finishes, instead of only wins, in the Main Season will be awarded bonus points, referred as Podium Credits. A win is worth three bonus points, second place is worth two bonus points, and third place is worth one bonus point.
Each Title Fighter will start The Showdown with 500 points and bonus points earned for each podium finish. Using the first nineteen races of Camier's campaign last year, Camier would have had 547 points due to his fifteen wins and a second place out of the first nineteen races of the season.
The standard points scoring format from the Main Season then continues for The Showdown, with all points scores from the final seven races counting. All riders outside of the Title Fighters continue to race for the BSB Riders' Cup, continuing to add to their points total from the end of the Main Season. This also applies to the new Evolution class.

Qualifying changes

The Swan Combi Roll for Pole remains, but this now just sets the grid for Race 1. All riders first take to the track for Q1 over 20 minutes. The field is then whittled down to 20 riders in Q2 over 12 minutes, and then the final 8 minutes shoot-out for pole position by the top 10 riders in Q3. Significantly all the riders will be on race rubber during all the qualifying sessions. The Race 2 grid is then established by the order of the riders best lap times set during Race 1. If a rider suffers a crash or mechanical failure before the end of the first lap in Race 1, the rider will line up for Race 2 in their Race 1 starting grid position plus 8 "penalty places".

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