Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2013:8.
Davide Giugliano Nationality:
Fast, feisty and occasionally a bit wild, Davide Giugliano made quite the impression during his first season of World Superbike racing in 2012, a reputation he furthered in 2013 by proving faster, feistier… but wilder.
With Althea Racing securing custody of its rider in what turned into a slightly bitter divorce from Ducati, Giugliano's second season in World Superbikes would see him switch from the growling Ducati 1098R to the livelier Aprilia RSV4 for 2013.
On paper this was a logical move for both rider and team, the RSV4's speed and agility certainly more favourable than the Ducati's now painfully noticeable lack of straight-line pace and limited handling advantage.
However, Giugliano's rather aggressive riding style of late braking and hustling a bike into the bends was arguably better suited to the Ducati, compared with the less forgiving Aprilia, and it was no fluke that the Italian rather too often found himself sitting on the tarmac in 2013.
On the flip side, there was still plenty of evidence to suggest that Giugliano – provided he tames the beast within – is a genuine challenger at World Superbike level. When staying upright, Giugliano was particularly strong over a single lap and a podium at Imola as the only man seemingly capable of challenging Tom Sykes was well deserved, while his maiden pole position in Russia was also notable in a year where non-Sykes Superpoles were a rare occurrence.
That said, it can't be ignored that Giugliano's Imola podium was swiftly followed by a crash, while another tumble just a single lap into the sole Russian race he started from pole was another blatant missed opportunity.
With team manager Genesio Bevilacqua delivering a rather scathing verdict of his rider's inconsistency at Silverstone, it's perhaps no coincidence that Giugliano's form took a significant upturn from that point, culminating in an enthralling performance at Laguna Seca that could have seen him claim victory but for a lack of experience in final lap jostles.
Ending his year with 15 top six finishes – most of which were achieved in the latter half of the year -, Giugliano deserved his eventual sixth in the standings (and eighth here), but it won't have escaped his notice that with seven DNFs he had the worst finishing record of anyone else in the top ten.
A return to the Ducati fold could well provide Giugliano with the platform to find the limit without exceeding it.Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2012:
11thTop 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2011:
N/ATop 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2010:
N/ATop 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2009:
N/ATop 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2008:
N/ATop 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2013: 9. Toni Elias10. Leon Camier