British Superbikes - everything you need to know: Teams, tracks, TV schedule, odds, favourites
With the British Superbikes season due to get underway on March 31, check out our guide to the event which explains everything you need to know....
When does the season start and finish?
The first race weekend is at Donington Park, which has switched with Silverstone to be the first track to see action, from March 31- April 2. There is a mid-season break following the first visit to Oulton Park from April 29-May 1 and the regular season ends on the September 8-10 at Silverstone.
The first race of The Showdown sees a return to Oulton Park on September 15-17 followed by round two on September 29-October 1 in Assen and round three on October 13-15 in Brands Hatch.
Why are there three days for the events?
The first day is practice, the second day is qualifying and the third day is when the two races happen. Just to add to the confusion, twice each year there is a ‘triple header’ which means there is an additional race that follows a three-part qualifying session (usually on the Saturday).
The Showdown? Sounds dramatic, but what is it?
It is the final three events of the season, featuring seven races, where the top six riders from the regular campaign compete for the title of British Super Bikes champion. The concept was introduced in 2010 following Leon Carnier’s sensational win the previous year where he took the title with four races to spare.
How does the scoring system work?
The top six are decided through number of race wins, with 25 points for the victor and then 20, 16, 13, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 awarded to the next 14 riders.
At the end of the season, all riders drop their two worst scores (from events in which they have qualified), with the top six riders with the most points then put forward to The Showdown. The Title Fighters are awarded 500 points plus extra points for each podium place they have achieved until that stage – 5 for a win, 3 for second and 1 for third. The original scoring system then resumes for the seven races that follow.
(The remainder of the riders not in The Showdown, compete for the BSB Riders' Cup where they simply add to their existing points tally from the original season).
How can I watch all this action?
What are the teams?
Here are the line-ups:
JG Speedfit Bournemouth Kawasaki
Be Wiser Ducati
Bennetts Hawk Racing Suzuki
Anvil Hire Tag Yamaha
Smiths Racing BMW
Moto Rapido Ducati
Quattro Plant FS-3 Kawasaki
Team WD-40 Kawasaki
RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki
Platform Hire Yamaha
Lloyd and Jonese/PR Racing
Who are the favourites?
Five-time champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne will be focused on extending his record number of titles this season on his Be Wiser Ducati but will have to contend, once again, with Leon Haslam. The 33-year-old is still searching for his first victory after finishing 29 points behind Byrne after last year's Showdown. He will be powered, alongside Luke Mossey once again, by Kawasaki. Mossey is the young pretender and although he still lacks experience at 24, is definitely a contender for the six-man showpiece at the end of the season.
Another outside bet might be Byrne's team-mate Glenn Irwin, who made his debut in the event last season, but finished a disappointing 12th. However, he is clearly on one of the best bikes in the circuit and so a Showdown spot should be easily within reach. And, of course, the returning 2015 champion Josh Brookes will have certainly be looking to snatch another title too.