Prior to the start of the 2011 MCE British Superbike Championship season, we at Crash.net
posed the question 'who will win the 2011 title?'
It was a closely contested poll, with its eventual winner – reigning champion Ryuichi Kiyonari – receiving just five votes more than joint second place riders John Hopkins and Shane Byrne. In fact, your top six before the season saw you put Josh Brookes fourth, Tommy Hill fifth and Michael Laverty sixth – the exact sextet of riders that have gone through to battle for the title in the three-round Showdown.
Five months down the line and with things now on a more level footing, courtesy of the controversial points' equalisation system, we are asking the same question…
With three rounds and seven races remaining to dispute the 2011 title, a lot can still happen, though the advantage seems to be with Swan Yamaha's Hill, who has reeled off a series of strong results ahead of the Showdown. Indeed, though he wasn't leading the standings overall – thanks to an injury earlier it the season – his greater number of podium credits place him on 529 points already.
By contrast, Byrne, who has led for much of the year, begins seven points adrift on 522, while Hopkins is down 11 points after skipping the three races at Cadwell Park because of his finger injury.
With fewer wins between them, Laverty, Brookes and Kiyonari start on 510, 509 and 508 points, but with a maximum of 175 points available from the next seven races, the deficits look fairly paltry so long as they can string a few good results together.
But who do you think will be lifting the trophy at the end of this three-round Showdown? To cast your vote, CLICK HERE