Top ten lists are by their very nature subjective; beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all. From the moment the season started in Australia until the very end there was a great scrap for the title, with the fight going down to the wire in Qatar. But, who was the best rider of 2016? This is the our Top 10 riders of the 2016 World Superbike season.
If ever there was a time to be disabused of any notions of the glamorous life a professional motorcycle racer leads, the weeks immediately following the end of the racing season, after testing has been completed, is surely it.
Riders around the world head into operating theaters and physical rehabilitation facilities to have more permanent fixes applied to the temporary patch-up jobs done to allow them to keep racing during the season.
There has been a long list of riders having surgery or treatment of one sort or another over the past week or so.
Jonathan Rea confirmed his status as one of the all time WorldSBK riders by claiming back-to-back crowns on Saturday, but in the final race of the season it was Chaz Davies who claimed the spoils.
For Davies, it was a seventh win in the final eight races of the season, and six in a row, but ultimately the Welshman came up just two points short of Tom Sykes in the fight for second in the standings.
Those final points came courtesy of a gift from Rea to his teammate.
Jonathan Rea stands on the verge of defending his World Superbike title, after finishing second at Jerez in Race 2. The Northern Irishman came out on top of a tussle with his Kawasaki teammate, Tom Sykes, and will enter the final round of the season with an almost unassailable 48-point lead.
Rea and Sykes had a typically spirited fight for second, but once the champion was in front, it was difficult to see him being beaten. Sykes, despite having a faster bike in different areas of the track, was consistently unable to get past his teammate.
As has been the case so often in the past, when the Kawasaki riders fought on track, it was Rea who gained the upper hand, and in doing so he has almost certainly claimed the title.
Chaz Davies continued his dominant run of form in WorldSBK by winning at Jerez. The Welshman waltzed to a his fifth win in the last six races, and once again showed just how strong he has become in 2016.
The package of Davies and the Ducati has consistently been to the fore this season, and a constant thorn in the side of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes.
If not for a mid-season blip that saw him score just 46 points from a possible 150, Davies would be in firm title contention but that run of form ruled him out of proceedings.
Some illness amongst our crew is the reason this show is getting to you a bit late, but never fear, Episode 39 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is here.
Re-capping the Aragon GP, David Emmett, Neil Morrison, and Steve English talk about the racing events in Spain, and place a friendly wager about how the rest of the season is going to shape up in the MotoGP paddock.
Turning to more serious discussion though, the guys also examine the FIM’s concussion protocol, as it was center stage in Aragon after Danilo Petrucci’s heavy crash, and perhaps hasty return to riding a motorcycle.
The attention then turns to the World Superbike paddock, with a talk about the recent round at Magny-Cours, and how the production-class racers are faring so far this season, and what is in store for next year. We also have a short interview with rider Chaz Davies about the progress of the Ducati squad.
We think this show is well worth the wait, so we hope you like it.
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