It was a one-man show in the end. Jonathan Rea monstered the WorldSBK championship from start to finish, only missing the podium twice and those times through no fault of his own. An MBE from Madge followed soon after for his third crown in a row and then some MotoGP bashing antics at Jerez and a SPOTY nomination rounded out the season nicely.
Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes put in valiant efforts respectively but weren’t, when you look at the final analysis, even in the hunt. The Welshman showed some fabulous turns of speed but having to ride the Panigale right on the limit almost all the time saw too many non-finishes. Sykes must wonder what he has to do on the same bike to get close to the Castletown man.
Further down the order, work from the Pata Yamaha team saw their boys score much more consistently than last year. Alex Lowes eventually ended up fifth in the points table on a bike that receives nothing like the manufacturer support of the green ones and the red ones. That, apparently, is going to change from right now.
Star of the Show in a lot of races this year was Leon Camier, who again rode the wheels off the 300 year old MV Agusta to brush the podium several times on a bike that spent more Fridays in its garage than it did on the tarmac. Reward is a ride on the more-works-than-2017 Red Bull Honda which he has already started banging into shape…
Eugene Laverty had a tough year on the Milwaukee Aprilia, which is now more 2013 than 2017, but the team are now on course, they say, and it will be better in 2018.
Vote for your WorldSBK Rider of Year, polls close December 20: