It was the biggest shake-up in the series' recent history and it split the opinion of riders, teams and fans alike straight down the middle, but the decision to amend the points' structure of the British Superbike Championship would actually have fairly minimal effect on the final 2010 standings.

Indeed, while the move to introduce a three-round shootout for the top six riders served its purpose to keep the title fight alive to the very final race, a bit of maths revealed the top three would have still finished in the order of Ryuichi Kiyonari, Josh Brookes and Tommy Hill under the erstwhile system.

It was certainly an enticing concept, but while it made fairly minimal difference to the outcome of BSB in 2010, a very different result would have emerged had the World Superbike Championship adopted the same method.

If we take into account that the cut-off point for the top six riders would be after the Silverstone round of the series - setting up the shootout to be held at the Nurburgring, Imola and Magny-Cours -, then the riders that would have gone forward to contest the title would have been:

1 - Max Biaggi - 355 points
2 - Leon Haslam - 308
3 - Jonathan Rea - 243
4 - Carlos Checa - 204
5 - Cal Crutchlow - 188
6 - James Toseland - 179

Interestingly, the Silverstone event was responsible for one of the bigger shake-ups in the standings, with Crutchlow's two wins there launching him from ninth to fifth, while team-mate Toseland would qualify with just two points in hand over Noriyuki Haga.

With the points equalised to 500 points, the resulting 'podium credits' (3 for a win, 2 for a second place and 1 for a third place finish), would see the six riders enter the shootout with the following points.

1 - Max Biaggi - 533 points
2 - Leon Haslam - 525
3 - Jonathan Rea - 517
4 - Cal Crutchlow - 510
5 - Carlos Checa - 509
6 - James Toseland - 506

Closing things up significantly, a strong end to the season was all it would take for the final standings to take on a very different look. With this in mind, the points' system would play neatly into the hands of Crutchlow, whose good results would see him get to within just five points of snatching the title from Biaggi

Indeed, Biaggi's hard fought win over Crutchlow at the season finale in France would prove crucial as it keeps him just ahead of the Briton when podium credits and points over the final six races are tallied.

In fact, things would be very close between a top three of Biaggi, Crutchlow and Checa, the trio split by just nine points. It's worth noting that the Spaniard would potentially rue the Nurburgring crash that could have prevented him from claiming overall victory.

Runner-up Haslam would have ended up fourth overall, ahead of Rea, who may have fancied his chances of a run to the title himself had he not gotten injured. Toseland - ninth overall - would manage just eight points over the final few rounds, though he would still retain sixth place.

1. Max Biaggi - 611 points
2. Cal Crutchlow - 606
3. Carlos Checa - 602
4. Leon Haslam - 588
5. Jonathan Rea - 566
6. James Toseland - 514

Of course, with greater emphasis on the final three rounds, the teams and riders may have approached things differently, not least Biaggi, who was always keeping one eye on what was a healthy lead during the closing stages of the year.

However, should WSBK organisers Infront be taking a close look at whether to adopt a similar format to BSB, these revised standings will no doubt be taken into consideration.

At best, it would certainly spice things up towards the end of the year, at worst it would raise questions as to whether Crutchlow or Checa would potentially be more deserving of the world title over ten-time race winner Biaggi...



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