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 best riders from tenth to best.
9th Eugene Laverty
- Championship position: 10th
- Wins: 1
- Podiums: 2
Compared to his 2013 neo-greatness on the official Aprilia Laverty’s 2014 was as tough as an official rider could get while remaining largely injury free. Hence his tenth in the championship points but both he and Lowes head up Toni Elias. The Aprilia was plainly a better bike than theirs.
The highlight for Laverty was his still slightly unbelievable win at the first round in Phillip Island. Passing his rivals one by one with what looked remarkably like ease he recorded a brilliant victory. Then a non-finish in race two that was a taste of too many things to come.
Hampered by what he saw was a tendency of the Suzuki to drop too low at the rear entering corners Laverty bit the dust too many times and recorded a full eight no-scores of all kinds. Not figures to allow for a push into the top six.
In the final year of near full-on WSB tech freedoms riding a Suzuki was still the tough way to go about winning.
A slightly sad send-off to MotoGP for Eugene? Yes, as WSB will feel a little lessened without his quiet verbal barbs and unquestioned riding skill.