20 October 2013
Spain WSBK: Final 2013 eni WSBK Championship standings
Kawasaki Racing's Tom Sykes is the 2013 World Superbike Champion, while Aprilia defends its Manufacturers' title.
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.
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.
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