Features 8 Dec 2016

Top 10: 2016 title winners

The most notable championship wins of the season.

2016 saw champions crowned well in advance of the series’ conclusions and champions crowned on the final laps of the year. In this edition of Top 10, CycleOnline.com.au highlights the standout title winners of the year.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

1. Marc Marquez (MotoGP world champion):
Earning his third premier class championship, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez tops the chart for this year’s title winners. His consistently strong performances paid off when he wrapped up the championship at the Japanese grand prix, where not only did he do it in Honda’s home country, but there were still three rounds remaining.

2. Jonathan Rea (WorldSBK champion):
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea recorded his second-consecutive FIM World Superbike championship in 2016, where the title came down to the final round of the year. With the two-race format used in WorldSBK, he was able to secure the title with a race to spare.

3. Troy Herfoss (ASBK Superbike champion):
With the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship being a primary focus for CycleOnline.com.au, Troy Herfoss’ first ASBK title comes in at number three. It was a tightly contested championship where Wayne Maxwell was tipped as the early favourite, although his misfortune at Winton’s finale paired with Herfoss’ commanding weekend decided who would be awarded the crown.

4. Johann Zarco (Moto2 world champion):
Back-to-back titles in the Moto2 category was the perfect way for Johann Zarco to cap off his career in the intermediate division. His championship victory came with a round to spare and an abundance of confidence as he prepares for his promotion to the premier MotoGP category in 2017.

5. Brad Binder (Moto3 world champion):
It was an incredible season for South African Brad Binder, who raced to seven grand prix victories while claiming the Moto3 championship in the process. He was the first to be crowned world champion out of the three categories on the grand prix calendar, where four rounds remained until the conclusion of the season.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Image: Russell Colvin.

6. Kenan Sofuoglu (WorldSSP champion):
Adding a fifth World Supersport title to his collection, Turkish rider Kenan Sofuglu narrowly missed the top five in our top 10 title winners in 2016. After crashing out of Phillip Island’s season-opener, Sofuoglo was able the return to his championship-winning form to clear seven round victories throughout the series.

7. Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (EWC champions):
The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team was able to successfully defend its FIM Endurance World Championship following a nail-biting final round in Germany. Battling Yamaha’s EWC entry, it came down to the final minute of the eight-hour race where the French-based outfit was credited its 15th world title.

8. Troy Guenther (ASBK Supersport champion):
Only one point separated Troy Guenther and Sam Clarke heading into the final race at Winton and as the pair battled in their last ASBK outing of the year, the title was decided on the final corner of the last lap. It was an epic way for the season to end.

9. Shane Byrne (BSB champion):
Etching himself in the history books, Shane Byrne became the most successful rider in the British Superbike Championship after capturing his fifth title this year. It was a season-long battle with rival Leon Haslam, although a third place finish in the final race was enough for him to be crowned champion.

10. Cameron Beaubier (MotoAmerica champion):
Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier secured his second-consecutive MotoAmerica following an eventful season finale at the New Jersey Motorsports Park. Beaubier’s R1 came to halt on lap 17, although with a strong points advantage and luck on his side, the title was his for the taking.