BSB: Organisers reveal updated Showdown format for 2023 season

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The Bennetts British Superbike Championship will undergo its biggest format change since 2010 next season with the introduction of a new points system and Showdown.

The season will still be split into a Main Season and a Showdown, however there will no longer be eight title fighters or podium credits, whilst points will no longer be adjusted at the end of the Main Season.  Instead, all riders’ points will roll over into the new Showdown phase.

Throughout the year there will be three different points systems in place, each of which will see the gap between positions lessoned in order to keep the championship tighter and ultimately allow for more riders to be in with a chance of becoming champion heading into the final round at Brands Hatch.

Across the Main Season comprising 24 races points will be awarded to the top 15 on the scale: 18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

For the Showdown events when the series returns to Oulton Park and Donington Park, the points value per race will increase to: 25-22-20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1.

The points value per race will increase again for the traditional season finale on the Brands Hatch GP Circuit to: 35-30-27-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2.

This means that there will be 105 points up for grabs at the final round, a large increase on the old format. Remarkably, a rider who finishes eighth in a race at Brands Hatch will score 16 points; the same amount as third-place finishers picked up this season.

The 2023 BSB format and rules

 “This represents only the third time in the series’ long history that we have adapted the Championship format, following consultation with teams and riders,” Series Director, Stuart Higgs said. “The Showdown format from 2010-2022 has served the championship well and provided some historic and edge of the seat outcomes but we feel it’s right to evolve the format.

“The new format will recognise season long performance and ideally create the opportunity for more teams and riders to remain in mathematical title contention and maintain the crescendo of competition that is seen many other sports disciplines.”

The original Showdown has created fierce debate amongst riders, teams, and fans alike since its introduction in 2010. It was a response to Leon Camier winning the 2009 title with four races to spare.

This season’s Showdown was a chaotic affair which saw three Title Contenders ruled out of the running in its opening round at Oulton Park. Jason O’Halloran was taken out twice, whilst Tarran Mackenzie broke his femur, and Rory Skinner broke his hand.

This left Bradley Ray with a 40-point lead at the top of the standings, whilst he was 65 points clear of O’Halloran, who had been his closest rival up until that round. Ray won the title with two races to spare.

A Teams Championship will run concurrently with the same principle of an increasing points value as the championship comes to a climax.

The pre-season test schedule has also been revealed by MSV, and includes the return of Spanish Testing

The opening official test takes place at the Circuito de Navarra (11-13 March). The circuit in Northern Spain joined the MSV portfolio of circuits last month and has previously hosted a World Superbike Championship round.

The teams and riders then return to the UK for the final two pre-season official tests at Donington Park (25/26 March) and Silverstone (28/29 March), as well as a single day at Oulton Park on April 13.

Meanwhile, Bennetts will maintain its title sponsorship of BSB after agreeing a multi-year partnership renewal with series promotor MotorSport Vision Racing (MSVR), for a further three years (2023–2025).