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 who impressed them the most in each race series we cover to establish MCN’s top five riders in each category.
And with this year’s <insert comment about championship>, it wasn’t an easy call to decide who deserved what spot in our top five riders of the year in the class. Here’s what we think - but feel free to disagree with us in the comments!
British Superbike Rider of the Year: 4th - Bradley Ray
The Bennetts Superbike Championship started with a shock this year as young gun Bradley Ray stole the headlines with a surprise double in the opening round at Donington Park.
The lanky, big-haired Suzuki rider had just one podium to his name before heading into the 2018 season, but he waited no time asserting himself as a title contender with a convincing double at Donington, blitzing the opposition in challenging conditions.
He’d go on to push six-time champion Shane Byrne for victory at Brands Hatch, but after that Ray and the Buildbase Suzuki team sort of drifted by the wayside.
A tough few rounds put his Showdown contention at risk, until a comeback at Cadwell Park saw him finish second twice to re-ignite his title challenge.
And while he’d finish sixth in the championship after a difficult end to the year, Ray’s achievements for a 21-year-old in just his second year in the class cannot be criticised and he goes into 2019 in a strong position with the same team.