There was a time in 2011 when Alex Lowes was being touted as Britain's next motorcycling superstar, but after the highs came, well, the lows, the youngster's early season promise – which included giant-killing EVO performances, a pole position on his Kawasaki debut and a stint in World Superbikes - dwindling rapidly during the latter stages.
Determined to rediscover his confidence on a Superbike again, Lowes found himself back to where his rollercoaster of a 2011 season started with a return to the three-man WFR Honda team.
Desperate to cut out the crashes and allow his momentum to build, the more mature Lowes of 2012 was barely noticeable during the first-half of season, the 22-year-old focusing on getting the Honda CBR1000RR home instead, even if that meant settling for the mid-field.
It would prove a worthy endeavour, Lowes's results showing linear improvements over the course of the season, enough to put him in with a shout of making the 'Title Showdown'. It was an opportunity that demanded a dose of the 'exuberance' that saw him steal the spotlight the previous year and the resultant pole position and maiden podium at Cadwell Park would prove very timely.
Proceeding into the 'Title Showdown', Lowes seized his renewed chance to launch a remarkable – and unexpected – title challenge, one that would see him score pole positions in each of the three shootout rounds, pick up a pair of podiums at Assen and reel off two stunning wins at Silverstone.
Going on to finish fourth overall (it would have been third had he not suffered a triple DNF at Brands Hatch), the 'Title Showdown' was proof that Lowes still has that raw speed within him, even if it is the greater maturity displayed during the whole season that has helped him regain that status as 'Britain's next motorcycling superstar' yet again.
Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2011:
Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2010:
Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2009:
Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2008:
Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2012:
3. Josh Brookes
4. Tommy Bridewell
5. Tommy Hill