9th – Josh Brookes
Average poll score out of ten: 6.2
A perennial front runner since his arrival in 2009, yet still the relative 'bridesmaid' (or occasionally the page boy) of the BSB, Josh Brookes came into the 2014 with nothing less than that elusive maiden title on his mind.
From Honda to Suzuki and now to Yamaha, Brookes switched to Shaun Muir Racing's Milwaukee-sponsored team for 2014 in an effort to drive some momentum behind his burgeoning BSB bid, but would once again come up frustratingly short when it mattered.
The closest thing to a rival for Shane Byrne in the opening rounds, though Brookes got the better of him at Oulton Park, it paled into comparison against the Kawasaki man's five successes in the opening six races. Ramping up the pressure – as evidenced by his 'on the limit' crash at Snetterton -, the Australian's season swung between imperious (his double win at Thruxton), anonymous (Knockhill and Brands Hatch) and error-prone (Cadwell Park).
Though the Title Showdown format meant Brookes was never entirely out of the reckoning and went into the shootout second to Byrne – albeit a distant one -, his tumultuous form ensured he remained a relative outsider compared with both his main rival and the resurgent Ryuichi Kiyonari.
In the end it took just one day for Brookes' title aspirations to unravel rather unceremoniously, his double DNF at Assen (one accident and one technical issue) leaving him with too much ground to make up over the remaining two events.
From here, Brookes' head appeared to drop and save for an entertaining scrap with Byrne and Kiyonari at Silverstone, the Australian became something of a background figure in the remaining events, culminating in him being overhauled by team-mate Tommy Bridewell in a final race showdown.
Brookes didn't necessarily endear himself to his rivals off the track too, irking Byrne by publically throwing his support behind Kiyonari, while Bridewell suggested 'mind games' were employed behind the scenes within the team and he even signalled his desire to leave BSB entirely.
Despite this, Brookes will be back for 2015 on the much-hyped new Yamaha R1 and once more he will likely start the year as a title favourite… but now more than ever he must deliver.
10. Howie Mainwaring
Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2013:
Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2012:
Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2011:
Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2010:
Top 10 BSB Rider of the Year 2009:
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