By Philip Wain
The three class acts of the 2016 MCE British Superbike Championship – Shane Byrne, Leon Haslam and Jason O’Halloran – all excelled at the recent round eight at Cadwell Park and it’s hard to look past one of these three to be the eventual champion.
Byrne and Haslam have now secured their spots in the Showdown with O’Halloran almost there and the trio have comfortably the most podium credits out of the rest of the field. But the race for the final three Showdown places is very much and alive and kicking.
At present, Michael Laverty, Dan Linfoot and James Ellison occupy fourth to sixth place but only seven points cover the trio with Luke Mossey and Richard Cooper only seven points further back in joint seventh.
All five of them experienced ups and downs at Cadwell Park and with the next round at Oulton Park being a triple header there are plenty of points on offer. And that most probably means there are plenty more twists and turns to come with the positions likely to change around after each race at the Cheshire venue.
Laverty’s form has disappeared since he took first and second at Thruxton and he’s arguably the rider who’s hanging on the most. His best result in the last four races has been a lowly tenth whereas the others have all taken at least one top six finish.
It’s not just these five that are in contention for the last three spots either with Peter Hickman himself only 12 points behind Ellison and early season pace setter Christian Iddon also in the frame. Tommy Bridewell can’t be discounted either although a double DNF at Brands in early August could be what ultimately costs him.
Either way, the three races at Oulton Park should see plenty of excitement as all of the above stake their claim for one of the coveted Showdown positions to give themselves a chance of going for the main prize itself.