This year's MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship was the first in the series' history to feature the new, NASCAR-inspired 'Showdown' format, in an effort to avoid the kind of utter dominance that had seen Leon Camier emerge victorious with four races still left to run in 2009 – but who was your
star of the 2010 season?
It was certainly a lot closer this year as a result of the revised scoring system, with the top six riders after Cadwell Park – Josh Brookes, Tommy Hill, Ryuichi Kiyonari, Michael Laverty, Michael Rutter and Alastair Seeley – progressing on to the inaugural Showdown.
The title had looked to be heading Hill's way for much of the year, but a do-or-die move that ended in disaster in the Oulton Park finale cost him dearly when the scores were totted up, and an inability to play the percentage game was the Worx Crescent Suzuki star's unfortunate undoing.
That allowed the ever-present Kiyonari – always one capable of springing a surprise just when it is least expected – to swoop in and blitz proceedings with a trio of peerless triumphs to pinch the laurels away from underneath Hill's nose and take his career tally of BSB riders' crowns to three.
Kiyo's HM Plant Honda team-mate Brookes was there or thereabouts season-long but just seemed to lack the consistency of the Japanese ace, whilst Laverty showed what he was really made of in 2010, by racking up his breakthrough victory at Oulton Park and then adding to it with a second success at Croft just over four months later.
The ever-dependable Rutter demonstrated the benefit of his wealth of experience to stay in the hunt as the championship's dark horse right the way to the end, and the last of the six Showdown protagonists – Relentless Suzuki's Alastair Seeley – was fast-but-wild as he continued his learning curve.
Outside of the top half-dozen, a rider who inarguably should
have been in there – having come out of the starting blocks flying back at the beginning of the campaign – was James Ellison, whose broken femur in the second meeting at Thruxton scuppered his title bid and left him facing a long road to full recovery. That the Lancastrian still beat Swan Honda team-mate Stuart Easton – whose season went downhill as the Scot seemed to lose confidence – speaks volumes.
Mention should also go, finally, to John Laverty, who was a magnet for bad luck in 2010 but nonetheless finished a laudable eighth in the points table and comfortably top Kawasaki entrant.
Whatever your views, make sure to share them right here, both by clicking on the link below and also in our comments forum.
Simply rate each of the 18 riders we have listed with a score from one (poor) to ten (excellent) dependent upon how impressed you were with their performance this year – and before Christmas, we will publish a list of your top ten.
To cast your votes, click here