23 August 2010
Kiyonari takes slim lead into Cadwell 'decider'
This weekend's Cadwell Park return for the MCE British Superbike Championship marks the final round in the 'Main Season' and thus decides the six riders eligible for the title 'Showdown', to be held over the final three rounds.
Ryuichi Kiyonari takes a slender seven points advantage into the Bank Holiday Monday ninth round, where he is likely to face a tough challenge from both his HM Plant Honda team-mate Josh Brookes and Worx Crescent Suzuki rider Tommy Hill.
The leading trio have already booked their place in the title showdown, together with RidersMotorcycles.com Ducati rider Michael Rutter and Michael Laverty aboard the Relentless Suzuki.
Their focus this weekend will be on further 'podium credits', which are included in the three-round showdown.
In terms of these credit points, Kiyonari currently has the edge, three clear of the rest, and on his, and his team's home circuit, the Japanese will be gunning for a repeat of his earlier 2010 victory to boost his hopes of taking the British title for a third time.
So who will join those five as a title contender?
Relentless Suzuki's Alastair Seeley currently holds the sixth spot, but is only 10 points ahead of the consistent John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) while Swan Honda's Stuart Easton is a mathematical outsider, sitting 36 points from Seeley.
Easton is hoping for a change of fortune at a circuit where in two previous visits, first in pre-season testing, and then in the fourth round back in May, he has crashed, hampering his efforts but now the former British Supersport Champion is determined to set the record straight.
“I know that I still have an outside chance of getting in the Showdown, but anything can happen, so I really need to get my head down and finish ahead of Alastair Seeley and John Laverty – hopefully for me it will be a case of third time lucky,” said Easton.
After these two races, the top six in the standings will have their current points score deleted and each be credited with 500 points, plus the podium credits accumulated to date, rewards for heading the action in the opening three quarters of the season.
They then score points in the normal method in the final races, with the champion crowned at Oulton Park in October.
Those not making the cut-off will be riding for pride and points to fill the rankings from seventh down, with riders including James Ellison, a pre-season title favourite, riding Swan Honda, whose chances were wrecked by injury; Simon Andrew aboard the MSS Colchester Kawasaki and Dan Linfoot on the Motorpoint Yamaha all keen to impress and finish races ahead of their title chasing rivals.
And, the action will be equally intense in the battle for honours in the Mirror.co.uk BSB-EVO class where former South African champion Hudson Kennaugh, now riding for Splitlath Aprilia has a lead of just two points from Liverpudlian Steve Brogan aboard the Jentin BMW. Brogan had the better of the earlier visit to Cadwell Park, winning both races, while Kennaugh was not far down, taking second and third placings, to set up a real duel for supremacy in the final stages of the series.
The packed racing programme also includes rounds of the Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport Championship; SpeedyRetail.com British 125GP Championship; Metzeler National Superstock 1000 and 600 Championships together Henderson Harley Davidson XR1200 series; Triumph Triple Challenge and the International Classic Grand Prix UEM Cup.
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