7th – Alex Lowes
Average poll score out of ten: 6.3
Voltcom Crescent Racing
After a challenging but ultimately encouraging maiden World Superbike campaign in 2014, Alex Lowes came on leaps and bounds in 2015 as a rider but could only achieve so much with the ageing Suzuki package beneath him.
A bike that had been described as 'long in the tooth' more than once - even before this season -, the GSX-R1000 couldn't muster a sustained challenge against the likes of Kawasaki and Ducati, despite the dedicated best efforts of the Crescent Racing outfit and modest assistance from the manufacturer itself.
Indeed, it wasn't equipment that would ultimately allow Lowes to shine, though greater consistency following a bruising 2014 campaign at least allowed the former British Superbike Champion to reach the chequered flag on more occasions.
Unfortunately, highlights – at least in terms of results – were fairly scant, Lowes' best result of third coming around the Chang International Circuit in Thailand.
Though it would prove the sole top five finish for both himself and Suzuki, Lowes' season did ultimately pick up as it progressed, a switch from the unloved Motec electronics to Magnetti Marelli providing initial growing pains but reaping some dividends by the season's end.
With more regular top ten finishes in the second half of the year, Lowes forged into tenth by the season's end having comprehensively demolished his team-mate Randy de Puniet and, for the most part, get the best from a compromising package.
With that in mind, Lowes can take some heart from his personal gains, which he will have the opportunity to display when he and Crescent get their hands on the much anticipated new Yamaha R1.
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2014:
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2013:
Top 10 WSBK Rider of the Year 2012:
Do you agree the poll results? If not, why not? Leave your comments below...
8. Davide Giugliano
9. Davide Giugliano
10. Sylvain Guintoli
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 50,000 votes were cast for the 2015 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.