9. Ben Spies

Spies, Qatar WSBK 2009

In 2009, after winning three consecutive AMA Superbike championships for Suzuki, Ben “Elbowz” Spies jumped ship to the factory Yamaha World Superbike team. In his first and only WSBK season, Spies won the championship and set the record for most pole positions (11), and for most consecutive pole positions (7). He was the first American to win the championship since Colin Edwards in 2002. The one-and-done champion went on to race MotoGP for Yamaha in 2010 where he took the Rookie of the Year award.