Points Win Prizes – BSB Scoring System for 2010
The new rules mean that the season will be split into two parts. For the first nine rounds of the championship the points scoring system will work as normal, with the winning rider picking up 25 points for the victory and points ranging down to fifteenth place. The interesting point comes at the conclusion of that ninth round of the series at Cadwell Park where all riders will then disregard their worst two scores, and a tally-up is done.
The top six riders from this tally-up will then all disregard their championship points acquired to that point and become the Title Fighters. Each of the Title Fighters will be given a new total of 500 points as a base plus Podium Credits derived from their performances to-date: 3 for a win, 2 for a second and 1 for a third. For example, a rider placed in the top six of the standings at the end of the Main Season who scored three wins, two seconds and a third (as his best seven scores) would start The Showdown phase with 514 points.
From here all riders will battle it out for the Championship over the final three rounds of the series. The Title Fighters have their own little fight to the flag while the remaining riders continue to fight for the BSB Rider’s Cup, including those in the new Evo class.
Qualifying shake up
It’s not just the points system getting a shake-up. There is a very important change happening for race 2 (and 3 if appropriate), because now the qualifying sessions only set the grid for first race, the subsequent race’s grid being set from the best lap times of race 1. So the notorious British weather during the qualifying 60-odd minutes won’t have such a deciding influence on the following day’s races. It also means that only race 1’s grid is decided on qualifying rubber and perhaps carrying only a minimal fuel load.
But, should a rider be unable to finish race 1 they can line up for race 2 using their qualifying position minus 8 penalty places (important to perhaps stop riders just pulling in after a bad start in race 1). So if the rider on pole for race 1 didn’t finish, they’d start race 2 from ninth.
It all sounds very fresh and interesting and at an initial glance sounds like it could provide the fans with some very interesting racing entering the final rounds. One point that a lot of fans seem to be repeating is the worry that the eventual championship winner could be someone who has managed to luck in to sixth place, hit form at the right time and dominate the final three rounds of the championship.
This point has some history to back it up - they have been using a similar points scoring system in Nascar for a few year now. After 24 races the top 12 competitors have their scores reset and compete over the remaining 12 races for the coveted Nascar Sprint cup trophy. In 2008 Kyle Busch had managed to build up a commanding leader in the series over the first 24 races, while defending champion Jimmie Johnson was down in sixth place. Upon commencement of the final third of the championship, Kyle Busch’s luck took a turn for the worse. In the first round he got involved in an incident, which saw him retire with car problems, while one week later he retired again due to a crash. Busch did recover slightly over the course of the series but finished a lowly tenth out of the twelve drivers while reigning champion Jimmie Johnson went on to claim his third straight title.
We have to be open to new ideas and regulation changes, it helps makes the series so interesting and we also have to put our trust in the event organisers. When they have made changes in the past that haven’t worked they have always been quick to tweak or modify the system accordingly and in some cases as a last resort, return to the original format. There have been a number of successes though, most recently with the qualifying format borrowed from the Formula 1 paddock, which has now been adopted by the World Superbike paddock.
Will the new points scoring system prove to be a success? Well that is something that we don’t know and can’t tell yet. We will only truly know at the end of the season when a new champion has been crowned and then depending on the outcome it could turn out to be a huge success or could cause huge controversy in BSB history. The qualifying changes will be tested from the first weekend. One thing is for sure, with a field bursting with talent, new rules and new manufacturers joining the championship, British Superbikes is going to be essential viewing in 2010.
Race Team Feedback
Motorpoint Yamaha Team Manager Rob McElnea believes the changes add a new dimension for fans, creating a winning formula for an epic year of racing. He also expects the new format to attract new sponsors and fans whilst generating further media coverage as the championship is guaranteed to go down to the wire.
"Once again it is the BSB championship that leads and others follow! We were the pioneers of the 1000cc engine change, stood our ground with the twin cylinder ruling and were the first with the new F1-type qualifying spectacle. For 2010 the BSB promoter, teams and manufacturers have not only looked at how the costs can be kept in control with a one bike rule, but also how the show will look and perform to our audiences. An audience that is not just our existing race fans but also our sponsors and potentially new fans who follow from their armchairs. The new points system adds a new dimension for everyone to get behind; if the TV and media have something new to shout about and potentially a championship going down to the wire for the fans, we are once again on to a winner."
Worx Crescent Suzuki Team Manager Jack Valentine emphasised the importance of the cohesive relationship between the teams, manufacturers and series organiser.
"We welcome the format changes wholeheartedly. What this demonstrates is the desire that exists as a whole to evolve and improve despite the tough economic climate. Once more, BSB leads the way and this comes from the cohesive relationship that exists between the teams, manufacturers and MSVR. The real winners this season will be the fans and spectators, as the changes are sure to bring real excitement and spectacle back to the series. With the races building up to, and then followed by the Showdown, we now have the tools to not only entertain bike fans, but attract and engage with fans of sport in general. This can only be positive for the future of the series and motorcycle sport."
Full details for the new rules for 2010, and all the news about the forthcoming season, visit www.britishsuperbike.com