Twelve months after getting to within a whisker of the 2012 World Superbike Championship title, there are few within the paddock that will have begrudged Tom Sykes his terrific 2013 success.

Indeed, while Sykes's comfortable third place finish in the first race of the day meant there would be no furious calculating going on all the way to the last chequered flag of the season, Sykes's resounding response to last year's heart-break alone ensures we can probably forgive him for getting the job done early.

Eight pole positions, nine race wins and 18 podiums tell the story of a convincing title campaign, one that endured a couple of hiccups along the way - namely his bizarre sighting lap crash at Portimao and his engine blowout in Russia -, but represented nothing less than the maximum Sykes could produce on the Kawasaki.

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Statistically, Sykes and runner-up Eugene Laverty would end the season with the same number of wins, though the latter had an indifferent mid-season lull to blame for him never quite getting back into the title fight.

By contrast, Sylvain Guintoli actually led the standings for a greater length of time than Sykes, despite tasting the winners' champagne just once - back in February -, but his 'mojo' as he puts it, would escape him over a relatively lacklustre end to the year.

Despite this, Aprilia has taken its third Manufacturers' title in four years and comes amidst question marks over the level of factory involvement it will commit next season. Kawasaki finishes second, its best

Coupled to the announcement that it would withdraw its factory-support from 2014, BMW's title challenge never quite got going, pre-season favourite Marco Melandri showing flashes of his best, but not regularly enough, though Chaz Davies at least made it two S1000RRs inside the overall top five.

In a year defined somewhat by a variety of injuries for many riders, just 19 full-time riders would start the season, yet remarkably only nine of them would start every race of the season. Furthermore, no rider would finish every race in 2013.

It means Davide Giugliano and Michel Fabrizio would enjoy fairly fortuitous runs to sixth and seventh - the latter enjoying his best overall finish since 2009 -, ahead of Loris Baz and Jonathan Rea, who were absent from the final four events.

Finishing the season as the top WSBK rookie, Jules Cluzel returns Suzuki to the top ten overall in tenth, just ahead of team-mate Leon Camier and highest-placed Ducati rider Ayrton Badovini.

Indeed, Ducati would endure its worst season yet in 2013, the returning Alstare team struggling with injured riders, limited testing and a stubborn new 1199 Panigale to end the season with just a single podium finish, achieved in the wet at the Moscow Raceway. It means Ducati finishes last in the overall standings, behind BMW in third, Suzuki in fourth and Honda in fifth.

In all, 42 riders across 7 manufacturers would start a WSBK race in 2013, with 41 of those going on to score at least a point.

2013 eni World Superbike Championship rider standings (2012 WSBK Championship standings in italic brackets)

1. (2) Tom Sykes Kawasaki Racing 447 points
2. (6) Eugene Laverty Aprilia Racing 424
3. (7) Sylvain Guintoli Aprilia Racing 402
4. (3) Marco Melandri BMW GoldBet Motorrad 359
5. (9) Chaz Davies BMW GoldBet Motorrad 290
6. (10) Davide Giugliano Althea Aprilia 211
7. (11) Michel Fabrizio Red Devils Roma Aprilia/Pata Honda 188
8. (13) Loris Baz Kawasaki Racing 180 INJ / *
9. (5) Jonathan Rea Pata Honda 176 INJ
10. (-) Jules Cluzel FIXI Crescent Suzuki 175
11. (14) Leon Camier FIXI Crescent Suzuki 132 INJ
12. (12) Ayrton Badovini Alstare Ducati 130 INJ
13. (8) Leon Haslam Pata Honda 91 INJ
14. (-) Max Neukirchner MR Ducati 91 INJ
15. (4) Carlos Checa Alstare Ducati 80 INJ
16. (-) Toni Elias Red Devils Roma Aprilia 70 **
17. (-) Federico Sandi Pedercini Kawasaki 55
18. (33) Mark Aitchison Pedercini Kawasaki 46 **/*
19. (-) Vittorio Iannuzzo Grillini BMW 27
20. (28) Lorenzo Lanzi Mesaroli Ducati 23 **
21. (21) David Salom Kawasaki Racing 22 **
22. (-) Ivan Clementi HTM BMW 18 **
23. (-) Vincent Philippe Fixi Crescent Suzuki 13 **
24. (20) Niccolo Canepa Alstare Ducati 12 **
25. (-) Fabrizio Lai Pedercini Kawasaki/MR Ducati 11 **
26. (-) Michele Pirro Alstare Ducati 10 **
27. (29) Alexander Lundh Pedercini Kawasaki 10 INJ / *
28. (-) Roger Lee Hayden Michael Jordan Suzuki 8 **
29. (-) Blake Young FIXI Crescent Suzuki 8 **
30. (-) Xavi Fores Alstare Ducati 7 **
31. (-) Sylvain Barrier BMW GoldBet Motorrad 7 **
32. (-) Markus Reiterberger Vanzon Remeha BMW 7 **
33. (-) Glenn Allerton Next Gen BMW 6 **
34. (-) Tolga Uprak CMS Eypbike Kawasaki 5 **
35. (-) Broc Parkes YART Yamaha 4 **
36. (-) Matej Smrz Yamaha Motor Deutschland 4 **
37. (-) Jamie Stauffer Honds Racing 4 **
38. (-) Yunus Ercelik Sampiyon 169 BMW 3 **
39. (-) Danny Eslick Michael Jordan Suzuki 2 **
40. (-) Kousuke Akiyoshi Pata Honda 2 **
41. (-) Noriyuki Haga Grillini BMW 2 **

'INJ' denotes a full-time rider who has spent one or more rounds out through injury
* denotes part-season in 2012
** denotes part-season/wild-card outings in 2013

2013 World Superbike Championship manufacturer standings

1. (1) Aprilia 550 points
2. (4) Kawasaki 501
3. (2) BMW 443
4. (6) Suzuki 243
5. (5) Honfa 236
6. (3) Ducati 185
7. (-) Yamaha 185