6th – Davide Giugliano
Average poll score out of ten: 6.3
Ducati 1199 Panigale R
Occasionally backwards in coming forwards, Davide Giugliano was certainly the most spectacular rider in the World Superbike Championship field this season. In isolation, he was quick too on a relatively unproven bike, but the Italian would all-too-often court very different headlines for himself between Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
His third season in the category, Giugliano returned to the Ducati fold alongside Chaz Davies as the manufacturer turned its attentions to bringing the 1199 Panigale R up to speed following a disastrous roll-out in 2013 that yielded a mere wet weather podium.
The step forward over the winter was notable from the beginning and Giugliano was certainly comfortable on the twin-cylinder machine, particularly in qualifying. Indeed, Giugliano's single-lap pace had caught the eye on more than one occasion in 2013 and in 2014 he proved one of Saturday's perennial stars.
Nine front row starts from 12 attempts underlined Giugliano's potential on the bike, but at the same time magnified the relatively minimal return in terms of race results come Sunday.
Though part of this can be excused by the 1199's development curve and ongoing issues with tyre wear over longer distances, Giugliano didn't help matters with numerous crashes, often from strong positions. Tumbles at Assen, Imola, Donington Park, Laguna Seca, Jerez and Magny-Cours (twice) became the frustrating footnote of Giugliano's campaign.
Interestingly, Giugliano's best results in 2014 came in treacherously wet conditions with podiums at Assen and Portimao, but eighth in the overall standings – 44 points behind Chaz Davies – was rather telling.
Nonetheless, you have voted Giugliano into sixth place here, a recognition of an undeniably flamboyant riding style that is at least evident of his effort, if not quite reliability.
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2013:
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2012:
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2011:
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2010:
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2009:
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WSBK Rider of the Year poll results so far
7. Loris Baz
8. Leon Camier
9. David Salom
10. Alex Lowes
About the vote:
Rather than repeat the Riders' World Championship standings, the WSBK Rider of the Year poll asks viewers to take into account factors such as machinery, performance relative to a team-mate, riding style, experience, injuries, progress and personality just as much as race results.
Over 40,000 votes were cast for the 2014 Crash.net
WSBK Rider of the Year poll, where viewers awarded each of the top twenty from this year's WSBK standings with a mark out of ten.