This weekend's Donington Park round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship will decide the final two Title Fighters for the following Showdown rounds.
Defending champion Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha), Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki), Shane 'Shakey' Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) and Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) have all secured positions as Title Fighters ahead of the two races at the Leicestershire circuit.
However, eight riders still have a mathematical chance of making the cut for the final two positions, enabling them to contest the three round 'Showdown' that will decide the 2012 champion.
Tommy Bridewell currently holds fifth, but with just a 17 point advantage the Supersonic BMW rider knows he needs to keep his rivals behind him:
“People have said to me that I must be pretty much there, but it can change and we saw that at Cadwell Park. I have a buffer but not by much so they still need to beat me. We have big expectations to make the Showdown and if we do it will be a big achievement.”
Alex Lowes' maiden podium finish at Cadwell Park elevated him into sixth overall as he became the 17th rider to feature as a potential Title Fighter. The WFR Honda rider topped a recent test at the circuit and is expecting a big fight to stay ahead of the opposition.
“We expected to be aiming for the top six and we are there now, so that is where we need to stay,” he said. “If we ride how we did at Cadwell there is no reason why we can't do it. I think it will be between me, Nori Haga and Ian Lowry, but I am just going to do my own thing. The top six is the goal; the team deserve it and that is our mission.”
Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) is the first rider outside the top six bidding to make cut; he is six points adrift of Lowes, but with a maximum of 50 points available the Thruxton race winner could snatch the position at the final stage.
Lowry though only has a six point lead over former World Superbike contender Noriyuki Haga, who is expected to return to action at Donington Park; he claimed victories there during his career on the world stage and is aiming to bounce back after a heavy crash at Cadwell Park.
James Westmoreland (WFR Honda), Chris Walker (Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki), Alastair Seeley (Tyco Suzuki) and Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) also have a mathematical chance of securing one of the final Showdown positions.