MCN's WSBK rider of the year: 2nd Chaz Davies

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MCN’s Sports Desk rank the five riders who have impressed them most in the World Superbike Championship during the 2016 season.

2nd – Chaz Davies

  • Best result: 1st
  • Wins: 11
  • Podiums: 17
  • Championship position: 3rd

If Chaz Davies had started the season the way he finished it, the Welshman would have been the 2016 World Superbike champion with ease. Taking a frankly incredible run of seven wins from the last eight races of the season, it was a case of too little too late for the Aruba Ducati racer.

Winning only four races in the first half of the season – and, crucially, failing to finish three races – even his run of form at the end of the year couldn’t help him close down the ultra-consistent Jonathan Rea despite eventually taking two more wins than the eventual 2016 world champion.

In fact, so strong was he in the second half of the year that it took intervention from Tom Sykes’ teammate Rea to secure second in the title against Davies, helping him out at the final round of the season in Qatar by dropping a place to allow the Yorkshireman through.

But, with such a strong end to the 2016 season, there is one huge ray of hope for Davies. Going into the new season – now only two months away – still carrying all that momentum, he should also benefit from new rules that’ll serve to hamper the factory Kawasaki effort much more than his own factory Ducati Panigale.

If he can start 2017 the way he ended 2016, then the Welsh former World Supersport champion should well be a thorn in the side of fellow Brit Rea as the two go head to head for title glory.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer