Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2013: 6. Loris Baz
Nationality: French Team: Kawasaki Racing Bike: Kawasaki ZX-10R Wins: 1 Podiums: 2 Championship points: 180 Championship position: 8th

In some ways, it probably isn't easy being Loris Baz. On paper, the likeable Frenchman came into 2013 with a potential title-winning bike beneath him and even a race win under his belt - pressure that belied what remains a relative lack of experience at this level.

Indeed, in just a few short months, the teenager had gone from short-term punt, to full-time substitute to future superstar, all on the back of a remarkable half-season with Kawasaki, headlined by his extraordinary victory at Silverstone.

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With this in mind, it's easy to forget that Baz only came to Kawasaki wielding a smattering of British Superbike experience and a less than spectacular record at Superstock level. The man himself even refused to get carried away, maturely insisting he would approach 2013 as a way of learning and improving.

Despite this, anticipations levelled at Baz were still lofty coming into 2013, but for the most part the Frenchman continued to exceed expectations.

While he wasn't exactly a podium-contender week-in, week-out, he rarely deviated from the top five and he was almost always present when the chequered flag was flung.

Making linear progress over the course of the season as he crept closer to the leaders, when Baz's second career win came in eerily similar circumstances to his maiden triumph twelve months earlier at Silverstone, he looked to be on the cusp of a breakthrough.

Unfortunately a spectacular crash on his final flying lap during morning warm-up at the Nurburgring would see Baz pick up a back injury, one that necessitated a lengthy recovery period to keep him out of the final five rounds of the year.

An anti-climactic end to a year that most likely prevented him from securing an overall top six finish in the standings, Baz has at least done enough to ensure he remains with Kawasaki for 2014. Given Kawasaki probably has its pick of the quality riders in the wake of its title win, the manufacturer's faith in Baz speaks volumes...

Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2012: 9th Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2011: N/A Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2010: N/A Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2009: N/A Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2008: N/A

Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2013:

7. Jonathan Rea 8. Davide Giugliano 9. Toni Elias 10. Leon Camier