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I think Sykes was the best rider this season. Before this season Kawasaki had neither title winning pace nor consistency. Sykes literally took them up a notch.
There were many factors outside Tom's control that prevented him from winning. The half point situation in Monza, and then Ayrton Badovini wiping him out at Aragon, and then the engine failure at Portimao, and finally, the rain today. If one of the four had not occured, Sykes would've won.
On the other hand, if you look at Biaggi and Melandri's woes, they were self inflicted most of the time, if not all the time. Congrats to Biaggi though, not many 41 y/o's can ride a bike like that. But for me, the best rider this year was Tom Sykes hands down...