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BSB showdown shakeup for '23

By Ollie Barstow

Content and Features Writer

Posted:

22.11.2022

BSB1

 

The 2023 Bennetts BSB Title Showdown will undergo the first major change to its format since it was introduced with an incremental points’ system, replacing the split of having designated Title Fighters.

Launched in 2010, the BSB Title Showdown replaced the conventional linear system of awarding the title to the rider with the most points at the end of the season with a format that established the leading riders (Title Fighters) after two-thirds of the season.

Those Title Fighters would go on to have their points equalised before ‘credits’ for the podiums they’d achieved during the first eight rounds were added to their total. They’d then go forward to contest the title over the three final events.

Promoting six Title Fighter riders towards the Title Showdown between 2010 and 2019, this was increased to eight riders from 2021 and 2022 seasons. The Showdown format wasn’t used during the compacted COVID-affected 2020 campaign.

Announced at Motorcycle Live together with confirmation Bennetts will continue to title sponsor the BSB Championship for another until 2025, for next season the notion of ‘Title Fighters’ and having a ‘cut-off point’ will be scrapped in favour of a format that will see points more heavily weighted during the final events for all riders.

As ever, the top fifteen riders after a race will receive points but the amount will vary between Rounds 1-8, Rounds 9 and 10 and then again for the Round 11 finale.

It will culminate in the season-ending round at Brands Hatch featuring three races with 35 points being available for the winning rider.

 

2023 Bennetts British Superbikes Points Structure

 

Rounds 1 to 8 - The Main Season

Points Structure - 18, 16, 14, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

 

Rounds 10 and 11 - The Title Showdown [Oulton Park, Donington Park]

Points Structure - 25, 20, 16, 13, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

 

Round 12 - The Title Finale [Brands Hatch]

Points Structure - 35, 30, 27, 24, 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2

 

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Why change the BSB Title Showdown?

While the BSB Title Showdown has its critics, the format has largely served its original purpose well.

Introduced in the wake of Leon Camier’s destruction of the opposition during the 2009 BSB season aboard the GSE Racing Airwaves Yamaha, the Showdown format was designed to keep the title battle alive to the finale in an effort to keep fans invested in a title battle that was likely to go down to the wire.

However, while the format has led to some classic title battles over the years - most notably Tommy Hill’s victory over John Hopkins in 2011 by the smallest of margins - both Tarran Mackenzie and Bradley Ray’s title wins in 2020 and 2021 were largely foregone conclusions by the time the final round came.

Moreover, there has been scrutiny for the heavy penalties applied to those that had established margins during the Main Season once the points had been equalised for the Title Showdown.

This was well represented by Jason O’Halloran in 2021, who saw a 106-point margin he’d attained during the opening eight rounds slashed to just 30 points once the Showdown was underway. A run of bad form for the Australian in the Showdown would eventually see him end the year third overall, even though he’d score the most points over the year in total.

However, this new format eliminates that quirk of circumstance to ensure the rider with the most points at the end of the season wins the title. It also opens up the title to all riders right to the end of the year, while the incremental points’ format will likely keep the championship alive to the final stages.

Stuart Higgs, Bennetts BSB Series Director, said, “Following the announcement of our partnership renewal with Bennetts, we can also unveil our new Championship format for 2023. This represents only the third time in the series’ long history that we have adapted the Championship format, following consultation with teams and riders. The Showdown format from 2010-2022 has served the championship well and provided some historic and edge of the seat outcomes but we feel it’s right to evolve the format. The new format will recognise season long performance and ideally create the opportunity for more teams and riders to remain in mathematical title contention and maintain the crescendo of competition that is seen many other sports disciplines.”

 

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