Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2013: 8. James Westmoreland
Nationality: British Team: Buildbase BMW Bike: BMW S1000RR Wins: 0 Podiums: 0 Championship points: 564 Championship position: 5th

Just pipping team-mate Jon Kirkham to both the 2013 Title Showdown and in your vote here, James Westmoreland may not have courted too many headlines this year but this was undoubtedly his most convincing season of BSB racing yet.

Winner of the BSB Riders' Cup in 2012, but ultimately overshadowed by WFR Honda team-mate Alex Lowes, Westmoreland switched to BMW machinery in 2013 with a move to Buildbase, the 25-year-old developing an immediate affinity with the S1000RR.

Though initially out-performed by Kirkham, Westmoreland would steadily reel him in over the course of the mid-season, his pain-staking consistency (he suffered just two DNFs all year) putting him within range of his team-mate heading into a critical Donington Park round, where the sixth and final spot for the Title Showdown would be determined.

It was here where Westmoreland would unleash his best form of the year, claiming an unexpected maiden pole position for both himself and BMW. Though woeful starts in both races negated that advantage (his fastest lap in race one having given him the top spot again for race two), aggressive rides would see him secure the points he needed to go level with Kirkham before nosing ahead on count-back.

Qualifying for the Title Showdown - a first for the Buildbase team -, Westmoreland's achievement couldn't be underestimated, even if he remained nothing more than a very long shot for a title tilt.

And so it proved, Westmoreland not quite evolving into an unexpected challenger like Lowes the previous year, though his efforts were still enough to beat the injured Ryuichi Kiyonari for a noteworthy fifth position in the final standings.

Evident progress aside, though Westmoreland is now considered a regular front runner in BSB, neither he nor BMW for that matter, has tasted the champagne on a BSB podium as yet. Nonetheless, Westmoreland will at least get another shot at breaking both his and the manufacturer's duck in 2014 as he will remain with Stuart Hicken's team for another year.

Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2012: 8th Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2011: 16th Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2010: N/A Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2009: N/A Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2008: N/A

Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2013: 9. Jon Kirkham 10. Dan Linfoot

Do you agree the poll results? If not, why not? Leave your comments below...


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