The 2010 British Superbike Championship came to a satisfying conclusion at Oulton Park over the weekend as around 45,000 spectators turned out to watch Ryuichi Kiyonari crowned as the new champion.
The final event of the new and somewhat controversial 'shootout' system, six riders went into the concluding round capable of walking away with the title, though it was 2006 and 2007 winner Kiyonari who won all three races to leap from third to first by the end of the weekend.
While the decision to equalise points in an effort to guarantee an exciting showdown at the final event has divided fans throughout the season, MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer feels the move has been vindicated by those voting with their feet.
"To have such a huge record breaking crowd at Oulton is great testament to the appeal of the new 2010 Showdown format, in which the top 6 championship runners have their points closed right up for the final three events,” he said. “The Showdown concept is similar to that of the safety car coming out briefly in the latter part of a race - the order stays the same for the re-start but the frantic final stages provide both pressure and opportunity.
“The fans love a championship to go to the wire and voted with their feet, turning out as never before. And BSB delivered magnificently at Oulton Park, with the champion only being decided on the final lap of the last of 26 races.
“The first half of race two was absolutely stunning with a four bike lead battle until Tommy Hill and James Ellison clashed fighting for first place. But in the end no one could dispute that Ryuichi Kiyonari and HM Plant Honda deserved the crown."
The shootout system is almost certain to remain in place for 2011, with Donington Park, Silverstone and Brands Hatch hosting the three rounds this time.