The World Superbike Championship had another thrilling season in 2017. Here’s our Top 10 Superbike racers.
1. Jonathan Rea
The wisest choice for #1 by a mile. The northern irish rider has demonstrated once again that he is probably the greatest rider to throw a leg over a bike in World SBK. His total domination combined with his nearly flawless season makes the rightful man to be placed at no. 1 in this top.
2. Kenan Sofuoglu
He may have lost the titles, but he definitely won a lot of hearts. With his never say die attitude, the turkish rider went on to fight for the world championship until the very last corner in Qatar. Sadly for him, he lost the battle against Mahias, but he definitely could have been the Superbike racer of the year if there was no Johnny Rea around.
3. Chaz Davies
After the amazing end of the 2016 season, Chaz Davies had the opportunity to fight for the first time in his career for the championship. In the early stages of this season, he was up there with Rea, but marred by inconsistency, his results dropped and his championship chance ran away. Maybe next year, Chaz!
4. Michael van der Mark
The Dutchman was by far the best rider out of the Ducati-Kawasaki quartet. Therefore, we can actually give him at least the honorific title of best the rest. At some points, he was outpaced by his more experienced team mate, Alex Lowes, but, overall he was the main rider of the Yamaha team. Definitely a champion in the making!
5. Lucas Mahias
Lucky champ or a well deserved one? Hard to say. Overall, 2017 was marked by consistent top three results. Although he unnecessarily crashed in several races, he kept his calm in Qatar and grabbed his first championship. It is yet unknow if he stays in the Supersport class to defend his title. If he chooses so, it’ll be very hard against a hungry for revenge Sofuoglu.
6. Alex Lowes
In football, Arsenal is the eternal fourth placed team in the Premier League. In the first part of the Superbike championship, Alex Lowes seemed to be destined to be the eternal fourth placed rider. All in all, his season was very good, even though, in the second half of the championship he was severely outpaced by his team mate, Michael van der Mark.
7. Leon Camier
Though he had many opportunities to show his skill and talent throughout the years with better machineries, Leon Camier demonstrated that he deserves to ride a very competitive bike. For 2018, he has an agreement with a falling Honda. In 2017, he was up there with the Kawasaki and Ducati riders in some races and he scored very well round after round. It’ll be interesting to see a mature Camier on a Honda. A championship combination? Why not!
8. Tom Sykes
His days at Kawasaki seem to be numbered. The results are not on his days and having Jonathan Rea as a team mate is not a good option if he ever wants to become a world champion again. Anyway, he won several races in a season where he was completely dominated by Rea.
9. Marco Melandri
His comeback in Superbike was not as good as he expected, but it wasn’t a very bad one either. A race win and some good racing action. Not an enormous collection for this season, but it might be a good start for 2018. An italian champion on an italian bike? The perfect dream for the team based in Bologna.
10. Nicky Hayden
Sadly, he is not among us anymore. Anyway, while he was alive, he had some good results given his bike. Unfortunately, Nicky Hayden’s career ended suddenly when he was killed in a tragic road accident in Italy. To never get yourself seriously injured while racing at 300 kmh+ and to die while riding your bicycle in your spare time. Life has its own ironic twists sometimes.
Photo – Motorcycle News