Niall Mackenzie's all-time top five BSB riders

Published: 04 May 2016

Triple champion and paddock stalwart Niall Mackenzie chooses his five favourites from the 20-year history of British Superbikes

 

1 Shane Byrne     

“Shakey still wants it after all these years, which is incredible. He is now older than me when I was racing and is still a class act at the top of his game. No matter how hard things get he grinds out a result due to his sheer determination. His consistency is amazing, he is so stylish on a bike and he’s the full package who has won on different bikes over so many years. He’s dealt with some class riders and still wants it more than ever.”

2 Steve Hislop     

“On his day Hizzy was absolutely unbeatable, a proper world class rider and immaculate on a bike. When I stopped racing I got on with him much better and I could then just admire his riding. His downside was always the fact that on some days he would get out of bed on the wrong side and be a totally different rider. If Hizzy had Shakey’s consistency he would have been unbeatable as his riding was as good as anyone in BSB ever.”

3 Ryuichi Kiyonari  

“Kiyo is another rider like Hizzy who, on his day, is amazing. He’s an interesting character, and I like that in a rider. He’s the Japanese version of Hizzy and it’s all in his head. All the teams say Kiyo is the nicest person in the world to work with and everyone loves him, which is why it is so hard to get annoyed with him when his head isn’t in it. On a bike he has all the skills and is super safe, unlike Hizzy who I thought could be a dirty rider.”

4 Neil Hodgson     

“He was my team-mate on the Ducati and a fantastic rider. I wasn’t the best of mates with him back then, but I admired his determination to rebuild his career. He wanted to turn it around so bad and get back into WSB. He was a man with a plan and did everything possible to carry it out. The day he started at the back of the grid at Oulton and still won showed what a rider he was. I thought I had the beating of him that day until he overtook me on lap five!”

 

5 Chris Walker    

“Chris is Mr BSB! I have to put him in my top five because of his endurance over the years. Last year I had been retired for 14 years and I was watching my old team-mate hand it to the youngsters and battle for a podium. I can’t get my head around how he has done that and he’s such a good guy who has made me, and the fans, laugh so much over the years. Walker has been a massive part of BSB – a hard racer and a great guy.”