1. Max Biaggi
As far as title-winning performances go, Max Biaggi's run to the 2010 World Superbike Championship was pretty much faultless.
While things were certainly close at the mid-way stage in the season, ten wins and not a single DNF ensured Biaggi came away as the dominant – and deserving – winner of the season.
As such, it is little surprise that we consider Biaggi as the top World Superbike rider of 2010, the 'Roman Emperor' ruling his kingdom once again with his first world title in 13 years.
Having shown hints of what was to come with a strong end to the 2009 season, a period in which Biaggi and Aprilia had seemingly unlocked the potential of the RSV-4, the pair went into the 2010 season quietly confident of launching a challenge.
Benefitting from having a team working around him – a privilege he couldn't get with Suzuki and Sterilgarda Ducati -, Biaggi was flourishing in his surroundings, dominating the second round at Portimao to lay down the challenge to early leader Leon Haslam.
Doubling up again at Monza, though Biaggi trailed Haslam at the mid-way stage in the season – blame fairly anonymous outings at Phillip Island and Assen -, a mid-season rout of seven wins from ten races catapulted him into a comfortable title-elect role.
Showing effortless ability to maximise the RSV-4's potential, which rivals noted had a distinct advantage at the start of the races and in a straight-line, the bike was also bullet-proof in reliability. Indeed, Aprilia should also receive immense praise for producing a bike that, in only its second season, led its rivals in most key areas.
To put into context, you have to go back to 2005 and Troy Corser for the last time a title was won with not a single DNF on their record, while his eventual 75 point margin over the consistent Haslam is one of the largest on record.
A slightly unspectacular end to the season – just one podium over the last eight races – will give rivals hope for 2011, but this year proved Biaggi is almost unbeatable when things are working around him.
As Aprilia's new favoured son, there is no reason to suggest that things will be any different in 2011.
1st (Portimao, Monza, Miller, Misano, Brno, Magny-Cours)
Crash.net's WSBK Top 10
1. Max Biaggi
2. Leon Haslam
3. Carlos Checa
4. Cal Crutchlow
5. Jonathan Rea
6. Leon Camier
7. Tom Sykes
8. Troy Corser
9. Noriyuki Haga
10. Sylvain Guintoli