Though it wasn't quite the grandstand finish that had fans on their feet in 2011, the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship came to a fitting climax at Brands Hatch as Shane Byrne wrapped up a third career title in resounding style.

While the nine point margin between Byrne and Josh Brookes coming into the final race seemed slim on paper, 'Shakey's' past form around the Brands Hatch GP circuit meant he was certainly the favourite to succeed.

And so it proved, Byrne's three wins from three races securing him a third career BSB title and putting him 28 points clear of Brookes in the final standings.

It's a particularly satisfying title for Byrne given the 'Showdown' format famously cost him the 2011 title, even if he will admit the 'shootout' ironically helped him out on this occasion when he was forced to miss four races due to injury.

Indeed, it is worth pointing out that it was Brookes that actually scored the most points over the entire season when the Showdown format is not taken into account.

Even so, Byrne was still the 'winningest' rider in 2012 with eight victories in total, four of which came in the critical final seven races of the season. Brookes, on the other hand, won four races over the entire season.

As well as winning the riders' title, Kawasaki emerged victorious in the manufacturers' standings, Byrne's three victories helping it overcome Suzuki during the final round.

Elsewhere, pre-Showdown favourite Tommy Hill saw his title challenge fade dramatically as he couldn't keep pace with Byrne, Brookes and even Alex Lowes when it mattered. A poor final round for Lowes would lift Hill back to third overall, but it was still a disappointing end to a campaign that looked unstoppable at one stage.

Despite failing to finish any of the final three races, Lowes did enough to scrape fourth in the standings ahead of fellow Honda rider Michael Laverty, his three poles, four podiums and two wins marking quite the turnaround for a rider that only just scraped into the Showdown in the first place.

Similarly, though he didn't get onto the podium once in 2012, Tommy Bridewell proved he deserved to be in the Showdown as he notched up 15 top six finishes on the formerly little-fancied Supersonic BMW.

Outside the top six, though he too couldn't make it onto the podium, the ultra-consistent James Westmoreland secured the 'Riders' Cup' in seventh place, picking off the scalps of Noriyuki Haga - whose flashes of brilliance were nixed by several mediocre races - and race winner Chris Walker.

Coming back from his horrific injuries, Stuart Easton ended his season with solid tenth overall, ahead of Ian Lowry, whose strong race-winning start to the year ended with him not even participating in the final round.

The same could be said for Jon Kirkham and Alastair Seeley, whose 1-2 finish in the first race of the year was never topped as they slid to 12th and 13th overall.

2012 MCE British Superbike Championship rider standings (2011 BSB Championship standings in italic brackets)

1. (3) Shane Byrne Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki 683 points
2. (5) Josh Brookes Tyco Suzuki 655
3. (1) Tommy Hill Swan Yamaha 612
4. (20) Alex Lowes WFR Honda 584
5. (4) Michael Laverty Samsung Honda 581
6. (17) Tommy Bridewell Supersonic BMW 577
7. (15) James Westmoreland WFR Honda 182
8. (-) Noriyuki Haga Swan Yamaha 160
9. (12) Chris Walker Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki 138
10. (18) Stuart Easton Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki 135
11. (22) Ian Lowry Padgetts Honda 131
12. (7) Jon Kirkham Samsung Honda 122
13. (-) Alastair Seeley Tyco Suzuki 95
14. (25) Barry Burrell Buildbase BMW 84
15. (-) Luca Scassa Padgetts Honda 76
16. (13) Graeme Gowland WFR Honda 69
17. (9) Peter Hickman MSS Bathams Kawasaki/Buildbase BMW 65
18. (26) Patric Muff Supersonic BMW 63
19. (8) Michael Rutter MSS Bathams Kawasaki 61
20. (19) Dan Linfoot Buildbase BMW 30
21. (27) Karl Harris Quattro Plant Kawasaki 23
22. (-) Robbin Harms Doodson Honda 23
23. (-) Luke Quigley GBmoto Honda 18
24. (-) Danny Buchan MSS Bathams Kawasaki 16
25. (10) Gary Mason Quattro Plant Kawasaki 14
26. (-) Jason O'Halloran Padgetts Honda 10
27. (-) Tristan Palmer GBmoto Honda 8
28. (23) Scott Smart Moto Rapido Ducati 8
29. (-) Jakub Smrz Splitlath Redmond Aprilia 8
30. (-) Freddy Foray Quattro Plant Kawasaki 7
31. (-) Alex Polita Jentin Doodson Ducati 5
32. (-) Mark Aitchison Splitlath Redmond Aprilia 3
33. (32) John Laverty Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki 3
34. (3) James HIllier Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki 1