6th – Dan Linfoot
Average poll score out of ten: 6.8
After a few career false starts and niggling injury woes, Dan Linfoot's first uninterrupted BSB season since 2010 finally yielded the breakthrough he suggested he was capable of when he burst onto the scene with Rob Mac Racing five years ago.
Still young, yet very experienced on a Superbike machine, the 26-year-old may not have been instantly identified as a potential Title Showdown contender at the start of the season on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki – in part due to the anonymity of riding one of so many 'green machines' on the grid -, but he would steadily emerge as the manufacturer's unsung star.
Consistency supplied the foundation for Linfoot's campaign and though his best result was merely sixth place after the opening four rounds, his metronomic approach to notching up points whilst rivals peaked higher, only to drop away, would see Linfoot steadily ascend the order overall.
Simultaneously, Linfoot's confidence on the ZX-10R continued to grow and his podium-challenging effort during the Thruxton round – which included stints in the lead and a pole position - finally thrust him into the limelight and firmed his status as a Showdown contender.
A long-awaited first top three finish at Oulton Park all-but-sealed his place in the Title Showdown and although the prospect of a championship challenge admittedly seemed unlikely, this was at least Linfoot's chance to consolidate his growing momentum.
To his credit, he did just that and fourth places at Assen, Silverstone and Brands Hatch hauled him into a position that almost saw him end the season in the overall top three. In the end, Linfoot would fall just short against the Milwaukee Yamahas, ten points shy of the 'bronze medal' in fifth.
Nonetheless, though third overall may not have been quite an appropriate final result for a rider that managed only one podium in 2014, he did score in every race, gave Quattro Plant its best-ever season and won many new fans – not least Honda, who have charged him with leading their factory-return to BSB in 2015.
We can surely expect more than just podiums next year…
7. Peter Hickman
8. Josh Waters
9. Josh Brookes
10. Howie Mainwaring
Dan Linfoot in the BSB Rider of the Year poll
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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