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.
- Championship position: 4th
- Wins: 6
- Podiums: 11
The greatest disappointment for the neutrals in 2014 was the sight of Marco Melandri only fulfilling his real promise on the Aprilia factory vee-four far too late to make it a three-way championship fight with Guintoli and Sykes.
A firm favourite for many now he had a bike that would clearly suit him; it took the revamped Aprilia team some time to deliver his demands.
He said he wanted this set-up; they said that wouldn’t work. They finally found a bike to suit Marco’s strange cornering style and off they went to equal doses of glory and final disappointment. A double win at Sepang was both masterful and a sign of things to come.
Simply unbeatable by anything other than team-orders and his own impetuousness in the last few races before the season finale in Qatar, Melandri won more 2014 season races than anybody but Sykes, but was 83 big points behind his winning team-mate Guintoli.
Now back on the MotoGP trail, against his wishes it seems, he leaves WSB with no championship title to show for his four years of toil and 19 career race wins.