After another epic season of racing, MCN’s sports team of Michael Guy (Sports Editor), Simon Patterson (MotoGP Reporter) and Oli Rushby (Superbike Reporter) sat down to discuss their favourite races of the year.
And after such a dramatic season across MotoGP, World Superbikes, British Superbikes and road racing, it wasn’t an easy call to decide which race deserved what spot in our top five races of the year. Here’s what we think - but feel free to disagree with us in the comments!
Race of the Year: 3rd - BSB Silverstone Race 3
In at third on our top five races of the year is the third Bennetts British Superbike race from Silverstone.
Following the debacle at this year’s British Grand Prix, BSB bosses opted to take the precautionary measure of running the BSB event two weeks later on the shorter, national circuit.
While the move was criticised by riders, it generated three of the best races of the season including this epic which saw no fewer than four race leaders and just 0.075 seconds splitting race winner Leon Haslam from second-placed Tarran Mackenzie at the end.
There was drama from the off as showdown contender Peter Hickman pulled into the pits after the warm-up lap. However, the Smiths BMW rider was handed a lifeline when a crash for Luke Mossey brought out red flags forcing a restart after just two laps.
Honda’s Jason O’Halloran made the most of a front row start to lead the opening stages of the re-started race, but McAMS Yamaha’s Josh Brookes was the man on the move as he moved ahead on the seventh lap.
Brookes looked comfortable out in front but after a steady start to the race, Haslam was ready to make his move, slipping past the Yamaha rider on the entry to turn one on lap 19.
Struggling with tyre wear, Brookes would drop back leaving team-mate Mackenzie to challenge Haslam and while the young gun put up a strong fight, it wasn’t enough to stop the series leader with the duo split by just 0.075 seconds across the line.
Jake Dixon was able to make the most of a tougher race for the RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki team to bag a podium on the final lap ahead of Be Wiser Ducati’s Glenn Irwin in fourth.
Early leader O’Halloran finished ahead of arch-rival Josh Brookes, who slumped to sixth towards the end of the race.
Bradley Ray crossed the line seventh for Buildbase Suzuki ahead of team-mate Richard Cooper while Tommy Bridewell took ninth.
Riding with a broken collarbone, a heroic Christian Iddon was gutted with a tenth-place finish after running in the podium fight early on – which would have been enough to clinch him that final spot in the Showdown with Hickman suffering gear issues towards the end of the race. With Buchan 12th and O’Halloran fifth, despite a non-points scoring finish Hickman had done enough to complete the Showdown Six.