A remarkable season of FIM Superbike World Championship racing delivered an eclectic bunch of riders onto the podiums, from Australia to Qatar and all points in between. MCN’s entirely subjective top ten rider run-down attempts to grade the top riders from ten to one.
1st: Sylvain Guintoli
- Championship position: 1st
- Wins: 5
- Podiums: 16
At the beginning of the season very few would have put the name Sylvain Guintoli at the very top of the world championship contenders list. Many may have had him inside the top three, but Sykes and particularly Melandri would have been the choice of almost all.
But we have to put Guintoli into the top spot - gladly so as he is such a top human – because championships with 24 individual races can only be considered as league competitions. Not knockout competitions, not cups, not penalty shoot-outs.
Any rider that wins over such a large numbers of tests of nerve and speed is the worthy champion, and perseverance paid off.
Aprilia threw the kitchen sink at 2014 after losing both the title and mega-engineer Luigi Dall’Igna in 2013, and with Melandri taking too long to get great on the RSV-4, the final focus shifted to Guintoli.
Throw in a few wet races where Guintoli excels, having the best bike out there by season end - and the quite amazing growth of Guintoli himself - et viola!
A worthy champion, top of the WSB premiership table.