7. Sylvain Guintoli wins 2014 WSBK Championship


French racer Sylvain Guintoli knew he had a lot of ground to make up heading into the World Superbike Championship’s mid-summer break. The Aprilia rider trailed Tom Sykes by 44 points with only four rounds remaining, so it wouldn’t be easy to catch the reigning world champion.

It wasn’t, but Guintoli clawed away at Sykes’ advantage, finishing the season with eight consecutive top-two finishes including a dramatic double-victory at the season finale in Qatar to take the 2014 title by six points.

Guintoli will now take his talents to Honda, signing with the Pata racing team to race the CBR1000RR SP.