The set pieces of history could be made this weekend with both the British Superbike Championship [BSB] and WorldSBK Championship on course for being decided in favour of the same manufacturer in Ducati.
Recent issues aside, Alvaro Bautista seems well on course for his second WorldSBK title but with the points system of BSB being modified to keep us guessing right down to the final moments, it's more of a lottery in BSB. However, with Kyle Ryde now 60 points adrift, another strong weekend for the BeerMonster Ducati boys - Tommy Bridewell and Glenn Irwin - could make it impossible for another team to lift the crown come Brands Hatch
But with already having such a big lead, James Whitham, are they defeating the cleverly designed Showdown system?
James Whitham: No they aren't. What I would say is that WorldSBK is unlikely to be settled this weekend and because of the points system it is impossible for BSB to be decided before Brands.
Bautista needs to pull 15 points ahead of Toprak at Portimao where the long straight will favour the Ducati and if Toprak falls off the job is done but we should remember, Bautista has been doing that lately.
So I don’t think it is going to be settled at Portimao although there is more chance than BSB where there is 105 points available at the last rouund. So it can’t be done at this round even if somebody wins all three races at Donington.
BSN: So the new system guarantees BSB can’t be won until the very last meeting which is at Brands?
JW: It doesn’t guarantee it but where two riders are equal on points but it definitely promotes a last round decider. I think these next two rounds are going to be exciting because it is a genuine Showdown and is set up nicely.
Tommy had a good start to the season but Glenn has got more points in the last half. Tommy comes up swinging occasionally but they are both well balanced in terms of rideability with the same lap times on the same bikes. So I think it is going to come down to a mental battle.
BSN: And if you had to pick out two outstanding riders from both series who would they be, presumably in WorldSBK, BautIsta and Toprak?
JW: I would have to pick out three because from what I have seen this year is just how
prepared Jonathan Rea is to stick his neck out and ride that Kawasaki close to the edge. That boy is riding as well as he ever has against the odds.
BSN: You think with Yamaha he will have a better bike than his current Kawasaki?
JW: I think so, yes. You see what Toprak has done, I think is it a better riders bike than the Kawasaki and you look at what other Kawasaki riders have done, Alex [Lowes] for example. But I honestly don’t know and it’s a common belief of all riders at a certain level - ‘I could do well on that bike’- you always tell yourself that.
BSN: What about BSB? Clearly, the two PBM riders are the two outstanding riders. Who else?
JW: Yes it is them because, and there are other reasons, because they are so consistent. But my other would be Kyle Ryde. He may be unbeatable at Donington because he’s done it before. And I would also include Jason O’Halloran. He still has the ability, a good bike and has been going well towards the end of the season.
BSN: Aren’t you saying that because you like and admire Jason? He really hasn’t got a cat in hell’s chance, good as he is!
JW: Yes, that’s probably right. But he does have the ability and if he’s confident he could win on that bike.