FOR Tom Sykes 2012 will go down as the year he almost became the best in the world.
The Huddersfield World Superbikes star started the campaign confident he could be competitive, and by the end of the season only half a point separated him from the World Superbike Championship title.
He was pipped in the final race of the season by Italian Max Biaggi – Sykes winning the final race of the season at French circuit Magny-Cours only for the Aprilia rider to get the fifth-place finish he needed to take the crown.
However, for Sykes it merely has prompted the feeling that 2013 can be his year with the Kawasaki Racing Team.
On the trials biking front, Denby Dale teenager Jack Price was a regular winner as the Huddersfield Falcon club rider gained the national youth title.
Another man who got used to the top step of the podium was Salendine Nook-based motor racer Mark Davies who won the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup G50 Class championship at a canter.
So decisive was Davies’ championship win – confirmed at the penultimate meeting of the season at Silverstone – that he was able to get in some preparation for next season by driving in the G55 Class in the season’s finale at Brands Hatch and came away with a debut double of victories, so 2013 is looking bright.
Scammonden racer Daniel Lloyd had a productive debut first season racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB and managed to finish a season that was at times frustrating in sixth place.
Back on the bikes the young guns were making waves.
In the British Superbikes Motostar Champions and Cup 16-year-old Joe Irving went into the final race of the season looking to confirm a top three slot in both sections only to have a testing run at Brands Hatch, but the Holmfirth rider still confirmed third in the Cup and fourth in the Championship.
James Pickford, from High Flatts, finished the Bridgestone Thundersport 500 championship in ninth place, but went out on a high note as he won the final race of the season at Mallory Park. Next year he will step up to the 600 class.
For Holmfirth brothers James and Jonathan Lodge the end of the season certainly made for a positive attitude to racing in 2013.
Jonathan left the final meeting in Kent happiest as the ANR-TSS Racing team Triumph rider pulled out all the stops to claim third spot in the season’s Supersport Cup standings.
James, riding for the Motobreakers team, ended up taking fifth spot in the final National Superstock 600 rankings despite breaking a shoulder during the season.
And Tom Tunstall and his Doodson Racing Team will be looking forward to a productive year after the trials and tribulations on 2012.