We caught up with two-time BSB champion and Eurosport commentator, Jamie Whitham, ahead of the final round of the 2017 British Superbike season which takes place this weekend at Brands Hatch on the Grand Prix circuit layout over three races.
Mathematically, there are 75 points up for grabs which means any of the top five Showdown contenders could take the title but realistically, the title fight boils down to three men; Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki), Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire Tag Yamaha) and Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati).
After the epic recent Assen trip where Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli took race wins, the latter becoming the 10th different winner this season, it’s 34-year old Derbyshireman who takes a 32-point lead to Brands over Brookes with Byrne just one-point further back.
This season’s revelation, Jake Dixon, on the RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki is 21-points behind Byrne with the Smiths Racing BMW of Peter Hickman nine points further back. Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran is the other Showdown contender but has a 86-point deficit to Haslam.
Above: Haslam, Brookes and Byrne have each enjoyed success this season
The Riders Cup i.e. those outside the Showdown six is also set to be decided with just seven points separating Tyco BMW’s Christian Iddon, the Mcams Yamaha of James Ellison and Haslam’s team mate, Luke Mossey.
All three races are 20-laps long with Race 1 on Saturday at 16:00 then Races 2 and 3 on Sunday at 12:45 and 16:00.
But that’s not the only championship that’ll be decided this weekend. The British Superstock 1000 title comes down to the final race too with Morello Racing’s Kawasaki of Danny Buchan leading the way with a 15-point margin over the Bennetts Suzuki of Richard Cooper who is looking to repeat the title success of the Hawk Racing team and his own team mate, Taylor Mackenzie, from 2016. Buchan and Cooper are no strangers to the Superstock 1000 title having each won it before, in 2014 and 2011 respectively. A podium finish for Buchan will guarantee the title for the 24-year old from Essex. Meanwhile, if Cooper is to take the championship then he must finish on the podium with Buchan finishing lower than sixth if the 34-year old from Nottinghamshire wins the race, outside the top 10 if he finishes second or outside the points altogether (lower than 15th) if he’s third. The 14-lap decider takes place on Sunday at 13:35.
The 10-lap sprint race for the British SuperSport title is on Saturday at 16:45 where Keith Farmer’s Yamaha can wrap up the title although if Andrew Irwin on the Kawasaki has anything to say about it then the title could boil down to the 18-lap feature race on Sunday at 15:05. There’s a huge 43-point gap between the two with a maximum of 50-points on offer.