1st – Jonathan Rea
Average poll score out of ten: 9.4
Kawasaki Racing Team
OK, so a surprise result this certainly isn't, but a superb average of 9.4 out of 10 here stands as a true testament to the brilliance of Jonathan Rea's long-awaited maiden World Superbike title in 2015.
Whilst no-one could fault the Ulsterman for his sheer loyalty to Honda in the six seasons he persevered with the manufacturer at World Superbike level, the rate at which talented team-mates came and went, and the visibly dogged effort he was putting into riding the CBR1000RR, always left many to wonder whether he was destined for more elsewhere.
A switch to Kawasaki for the 2015 season offered up the opportunity to have our questions answered… and he did so in style!
From the moment he threw his leg across the ZX-10R in winter testing, Rea was immediately on the pace, so much so that he was quickly earmarked as the title favourite long before the start of the season. When he proceeded to reel off eight wins in the opening ten races, his title win was already a foregone conclusion.
Not that he let the intensity drop, Rea finishing off the podium on just three occasions in 2015, and even they were because of one technical DNF and a pair of fourth places. In all, he won 14 races and finished the season 132 points clear of runner-up Chaz Davies.
Flawless from beginning to end, it's worth pointing out that Rea only started four of the 26 races from pole position, the years of effort extracting the best from a reluctant Honda being rewarded by apparent effortlessness that came from riding the more compliant Kawasaki.
A long-awaited vindication for the man and his many fans, Honda's loss is very much Kawasaki's gain
Previous WSBK Poll results for Jonathan Rea
WSBK Rider of the Year 2014:
WSBK Rider of the Year 2013:
WSBK Rider of the Year 2012:
WSBK Rider of the Year 2011:
WSBK Rider of the Year 2010:
Do you agree the poll results? If not, why not? Leave your comments below...
3. Chaz Davies
3. Tom Sykes
4. Jordi Torres
5. Michael van der Mark
6. Leon Haslam
7. Alex Lowes
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.