British Superbike Championship

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British Superbike Championship
Category Motorcycle sport
Country United Kingdom
Inaugural season 1988
Riders 30 (2014)
Teams 21 (2014)
Constructors 5 (BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha)
Tyre suppliers Pirelli
Riders' champion Alex Lowes[1]
Teams' champion Samsung Honda
Makes' champion Kawasaki[1]
Official website britishsuperbike.com/
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

The British Superbike Championship (BSB), currently known for sponsorship reasons as the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, is the leading road racing superbike championship in the United Kingdom, and is widely acknowledged as the premier domestic superbike racing series in the world.[2][3]

The championship is managed and organised by MotorSport Vision,[4] who also own many of the circuits the series meets at. The Series and Race Director is Stuart Higgs, with event marshals provided by the Racesafe Marshals Association.[5]

The series typically races over twelve rounds from April to October, with the series concluding in a three-round 'Showdown,' where the top six riders are awarded points based on their podium finishes from the previous nine rounds and then compete over three rounds and seven races for the title.[6] The Showdown format was introduced in 2010 in order to prevent a rider from making a runaway victory in the championship.

From 2008, the championship followed the Superbike World Championship in appointing Pirelli as the single control tyre supplier.[7]

History[edit]

2006 BSB Race at Thruxton Circuit

The British Superbike Championship began in 1988, with bikes conforming to 750cc TT Formula I regulations, which the championship used through to 1993, when a pure Superbike regulations were adopted.

Niall Mackenzie was the most successful rider of the 1990s, with three titles. Other past champions include Neil Hodgson, Australian Troy Bayliss and Steve Hislop. Chris 'the Stalker' Walker has finished as runner up 4 times. Many riders from the series have gone on to race in the Superbike World Championship or MotoGP.

The 2006 British Superbike championship was won by Ryuichi Kiyonari, in what was one of the most exciting climaxes to a British Superbike season in years. Kiyonari fought off the challenge of Ducati powered Leon Haslam and Gregorio Lavilla at the final round in Brands Hatch in front of a capacity crowd and a reported 1.5 million live TV viewers, with Kiyonari and Haslam each winning one race, and Lavilla crashing and having an engine problem in both races.

The 2009 British Superbike Championship season was mainly dominated by the Yamaha of Leon Camier who set a new record of 14 race wins in a season at event eight of twelve, such was his domination of the championship, beating the previous record of 13 by Niall Mackenzie in the 1997 season.[8] Guintoli, Brookes and Richards all missed races, allowing Stuart Easton of Hydrex Honda and Simon Andrews of MSS Colchester Kawasaki to challenge.

It was claimed that BSB was the biggest supported British racing series,

During 2009, 368,000 people attended BSB events across the country and 8,000,000 fans watched 310 hours of television on the live Eurosport and delayed ITV coverage[9]

For 2010, the Privateers cup was replaced by the Evolution Class. MSVR stated that "It will be open to anyone in the series from the official manufacturer-backed teams through to independent entries and will allow homologated machines with full Superbike racing rolling chassis to retain the very important visual impression but engines will have to be built to very stringent "Stock" regulations. Along with standard engines a series specified control ECU device that eliminates any form of traction control, launch control and anti-wheelie devices will be compulsory"[10][11][12]

Qualifying was also altered, with the "Roll for Pole" only setting the grid for race one of each weekend. This is due to the race two grid being set by the fastest laps of each rider in race one. Also introduced is a "second chance" system if a rider crashes on lap one, that rider will only drop eight places from where they started the first race. At the pair of triple-race meetings, the same rules apply for race two, but will also be applied for race three.[13]

Perhaps the biggest rule change was the dividing of the championship into two parts, similar to the system used in three automobile racing series in the United States -- the United Speed Alliance Four Champions Playoff, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase for the Sprint Cup, and National Hot Rod Association's Countdown to the Championship.

The first nine meetings (19 races) form the "Main Season" of the championship, before the final three meetings (seven races) make up "The Showdown". The championship change has been introduced after Leon Camier clinched the 2009 title with four races to spare, thus introducing a crescendo of competition.[13]

The normal FIM point-scoring system still applies, with 25 for the winner and a single point for 15th. At the end of the Main Season, all riders then drop their two worst scores, which must be from events they have at least qualified for. From this points order, the first six riders in the championship standings will be elevated to a new base level and become the Title Fighters for the final three events and seven races of the championship.[13]

Each Title Fighter will start The Showdown with 500 points, plus additional points for each podium position they have obtained in the Main Season; 3 for a win, 2 for a second, and 1 for a third, termed "Podium Credits".[13] Using the first nineteen races of Camier's 2009 campaign, Camier would have had 547 points due to his fifteen wins and a second place out of the first nineteen races of the season.

The standard points scoring format from the Main Season then continues for The Showdown, with all points scores from the final seven races counting.[13] All riders outside of the Title Fighters continue to race for the BSB Riders' Cup, continuing to add to their points total from the end of the Main Season. This also applies to the new Evolution class.[13]

For the 2012 season, MSVR has announced a number of changes to the technical regulations to enhance the spectacle of the British Superbike Championship. The championship will be limited to 32 entries, 16 two-bike teams. This is said to be a way to reward the teams that have raced BSB year in, year out. Teams within the current BSB are invited to enter their two bike teams initially, with a teams who wish to graduate to the BSB class having to buy an entry.[14]

Circuits[edit]

Being a national championship, the British Superbike Championship has visited circuits throughout the United Kingdom, as well as European venues, over its history. In 2014, the series visits nine different tracks in England, Scotland and the Netherlands. These tracks are: Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit, Knockhill Racing Circuit, Thruxton Circuit, Cadwell Park, Donington Park, TT Circuit Assen and Silverstone Circuit.

In the past, the BSB has visited Croft Circuit, Mallory Park and Rockingham Motor Speedway in England, Mondello Park in Ireland and Pembrey Circuit in Wales.

Types of motorcycles used[edit]

Superbike racing motorcycles are derived from standard production models. In the past, however, manufacturers took advantage of loopholes in the rules to create "homologation specials" — motorcycles with low production numbers made especially for racing.

Motorcycles that raced in the British Superbike Championship include:

Withdrawn Motorcycles

Race Weekend[edit]

2 Race Weekend 3 Race Weekend
Friday
  • Practice 1 (50 Mins)
  • Practice 2 (50 Mins)
Friday
  • Practice 1 (50 Mins)
  • Practice 2 (50 Mins)
Saturday
  • Practice 3 (50 Mins)
  • Qualifying (3 Sessions)
    • Session 1: All riders
    • Session 2: Riders Between 20-10 Knocked Out
    • Session 3: Top 10 Shootout
Saturday
  • Qualifying (3 Sessions)
    • Session 1: All riders
    • Session 2: Riders Between 20-10 Knocked Out
    • Session 3: Top 10 Shootout
  • Race 1
Sunday
  • Warm Up (20 Mins)
  • Race 1
  • Race 2
Sunday
  • Warm Up (10 Mins)
  • Race 2
  • Race 3
  • For 2010 a change to the qualifying system means that riders will only "qualify" for race one, (or race one and two if its a 3 race weekend). The grid for the other race will be decided by the fastest lap in the previous race.[9]

Support Classes[edit]

Currently, the BSB is supported by four main support series. These being:

TV Coverage[edit]

The move to ITV vastly increased the viewing figures by a reported 450% over the figures for 2005.[16]

During the 2006 season ITV1’s BSB coverage attracted an average UK adult audience of 962,000 per round with a peak audience of more than 1.5 million for the cliff-hanger final leg at Brands Hatch[17]

Races were covered live by ITV and Sky Sports.

Over the twelve BSB rounds, the 'live' ITV1 coverage attracted an average adult audience of some 11,552,000, which equates to an average viewership of 962,000 per round and 10.68% audience share with 317,100 attending the twelve rounds, with 270,000 viewers on "delayed" Sky Sports transmission

For the 2008 championship, the series was now live on British Eurosport, with highlights on Channel 4 within the next few days.[18] This was a step down from where the BSB had previously been having an effect on the viewing figures

The total UK BSB TV audience in 2008 was 7 million compared to 11 million in 2007 – which averages at 600,000 per round which was basically split 50:50 between Eurosport and Channel 4[19]

Scoring system[edit]

Current Points System
Position 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Points 25 20 16 13 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

British Superbike Champions[edit]

Season Series Rider Bike Team Notes
1988 750 cc / TT F1 United Kingdom Darren Dixon Suzuki Dixon went on to pilot sidecars alongside passenger Andy Hetherington
1989 Superbike United Kingdom Brian Morrison Honda
1990 750cc / TT F1 England Terry Rymer Yamaha Terry now runs Diablo 666 Endurance racing Team [20]
1991 750 cc / TT F1 United Kingdom Rob McElnea Yamaha Team Loctite
1992 750 cc / TT F1 United Kingdom John Reynolds Kawasaki Team Green
1993 Superbike United Kingdom James Whitham Yamaha Fast Orange
1994 Superbike United Kingdom Ian Simpson Norton rotary F1 Team Crighton
1995 Superbike United Kingdom Steve Hislop Ducati 916/955 Devimead Whitham was suffering from/treated for Hodgkin's Disease, a form of cancer[21]
1996 Superbike United Kingdom Niall Mackenzie Yamaha YZF750 Cadbury's Boost
1997 Superbike United Kingdom Niall Mackenzie Yamaha YZF750 Cadbury's Boost
1998 Superbike United Kingdom Niall Mackenzie Yamaha YZF750 Cadbury's Boost 387 points, 6 wins and 1 pole from 24 races
1999 Superbike Australia Troy Bayliss Ducati 996 INS GSE 394 points, 7 wins and 6 poles from 24 races
2000 Superbike United Kingdom Neil Hodgson Ducati 996 INS GSE 422 points, 7 wins and 5 poles from 24 races
2001 Superbike United Kingdom John Reynolds Ducati 996 RS Reve Red Bull 536 points
2002 Superbike United Kingdom Steve Hislop Ducati 998 RS Paul Bird Monstermob 452 points, 8 wins, 5 poles and 17 podiums from 26 races (1 DNF)
2003 Superbike United Kingdom Shane 'Shakey' Byrne Ducati 998 F02 Paul Bird Monstermob 488 points, 12 wins, 5 poles and 21 podiums from 24 races (1 DNF)
2004 Superbike United Kingdom John Reynolds Suzuki GSX-R1000 Crescent Q8 Rizla 446 points, from 26 races
2005 Superbike Spain Gregorio Lavilla Ducati 999 F04 Airwaves GSE Reynolds injured in pre-season testing. 461 points from 26 races
2006 Superbike Japan Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda CBR1000RR HM Plant HRC 466 points, 11 wins from 26 races
2007 Superbike Japan Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda CBR1000RR HM Plant HRC 433 points, 8 wins from 26 races
2008 Superbike United Kingdom Shane 'Shakey' Byrne Ducati 1098 Airwaves GSE 474 points, 10 wins from 24 races, 5 poles, 3 doubles (1 DNF)
2009 Superbike United Kingdom Leon Camier Yamaha YZF-R1 Airwaves GSE 549.5 points, 19 wins from 26 races, 9 poles, 4 doubles & 1 treble (1 DSQ)
2010 Superbike Japan Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda CBR1000RR HM Plant HRC First season of The Chase-style points system.
2011 Superbike United Kingdom Tommy Hill Yamaha YZF-R1 Swan Yamaha Championship down to last corner of the last race - won by 2 points overall and 0.006 seconds.
2012 Superbike United Kingdom Shane 'Shakey' Byrne Kawasaki ZX-10R Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki Championship down to the last race at Brands Hatch.
2013 Superbike United Kingdom Alex Lowes Honda CBR1000RR Samsung Honda UK Championship down to the last race at Brands Hatch. Three wet races

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "BSB 2013 Final Standings" (PDF). MotorSport Vision. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Crash.net. "MV Agusta tipped for BSB return". 
  3. ^ "What is MCE BSB". 
  4. ^ "MSV takes over BSB". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  5. ^ "Marshals' Association". Racesafe. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  6. ^ Official British Superbike Championship. "Rules and points". 
  7. ^ "British SuperBike - PIRELLI TYRE". Pirelli.co.uk. 2009-04-13. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  8. ^ http://www.teletext.co.uk/sportnews/headlines/77b8e1faae4299d866b104c47fa35de2/Camier+breaks+wins+record.aspx
  9. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ "BSB announces new 'Evolution' class for 2010". crash.net (Crash Media Group). 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  12. ^ "New BSB Evolution class for 2010". brandsmsv.com (Brands Hatch; MotorSport Vision). 2009-09-23. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f "BSB set to intensify in 2010 with new rule changes". British Superbike Championship (MotorSport Vision). 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  14. ^ "British Superbikes limited to 32 places for 2012". bikesportnews.com (BikeSport News). 6 August 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  15. ^ a b c http://www.msvracing.com/media/1023153/bsb%20supplement%20corrected_low.pdf
  16. ^ "Buy Motorcycle Clothing, Motorcycle Parts and Motorcycle Accessories online safely and securely". MSG Bike Gear. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  17. ^ "Eurosport deal bad news for BSB? - Motorcycle news : Racing news". Visordown. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  18. ^ "British Superbikes Goes Live On Eurosport >". BikeSport News. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  19. ^ Ihttp://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/sport/sportresults/mcn/2009/January/19-25/jan2409-higgs-bsb-tv-is-good/?&R=EPI-105685nsert footnote text here
  20. ^ "World Endurance Racing". Diablo 666. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  21. ^ "James Whitham - What a Good Do!". Londonbikers.com. 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 

External links[edit]