3rd – Chris Walker
Average poll score out of ten: 7.8
Lloyds British GBmoto Racing
There is much to be said for experience and maturity when it comes to the British Superbike Championship. In the year that Harry Hartley became the youngest man to start a BSB race at the tender age of 16, Chris Walker enjoyed the best season of its illustrious career since 2000 – just two years after a man he shared a spot on the BSB grid with was even born…
Platitudes about his age aside – something that has followed him perhaps more than his 42 years really deserve -, Walker's decent set of results in recent seasons meant there was actually little reason to suggest he could not mount a challenge for the Title Showdown with the well supported GBmoto Kawasaki team this season.
Indeed, when Walker came out swinging with a podium in the very first race of the season, it seemed man and machine was destined for a strong 2014.
Though he wouldn't better that result for the remainder of the season – with just two more podiums following at Knockhill and Cadwell Park – Walker was a regular front runner in 2014 nonetheless, cracking the top six on nine occasions.
In fairness, Walker owed his eventual place in the Title Showdown to fellow GBmoto rider James Ellison, who would have likely nudged his team-mate out of contention had he not sidelined himself through injury, but the four-time BSB runner-up remained present very much on merit regardless.
Once there, Walker's form unexpectedly dwindled, becoming a background figure with a best finish of just tenth place from the final three events, but his position had already been assured with sixth place marking his best overall result in 14 long years.
Perhaps the best is still yet to come…
BSB Rider of the Year poll
4. James Ellison
5. Tommy Bridewell
6. Dan Linfoot
7. Peter Hickman
8. Josh Waters
9. Josh Brookes
10. Howie Mainwaring
Chris Walker 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:
Do you agree the poll results? If not, why not? Leave your comments below...