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.
2nd: Tom Sykes
- Championship position: 2nd
- Wins: 8
- Podiums: 16
The second best WSB rider of 2014?
You could argue that had his team-mate not taken him out at Sepang and robbed him of a probable podium then everything that happened after would have been moot, and Sykes would be a double champion already.
The best rider of 2014 after all then?
Arguments about that can rage on forever but the number one plate was lost anyway. For the super-competitive Sykes that is probably all that matters.
Sepang-gate was certainly the onset of a corrosive relationship inside KRT garage that caused so many political situations it must have affected his approach when team orders kicked in the final couple of races.
Huge gaps between the final race weekends, wet races that killed many of his Kawasaki’s best features, and then ‘that’ let down of being beaten by Baz just before the very last race of the year, the pressure probably just got too much for a Sykes in the very last race, just as Guintoli truly found himself.
Back for more in 2015, his own KRT team-mate may well be his biggest focus again, but this time for a very different reason.