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 after this year's dramatic British Superbike 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: 2nd - Jake Dixon
Young gun Jake Dixon came of age during the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike season to fight for the title with Leon Haslam.
Despite a tough start to the year, Dixon kicked things off at Oulton Park with a double rostrum, going on to take an impressive run of six podium finishes, including his first victory of the year at Knockhill.
10 podiums from the last 14 races, including a dominant double victory at Oulton Park kept Dixon in the hunt, but it wouldn’t be enough to stop a dominant Haslam, especially after an engine failure for Dixon’s RAF Regular and Reserves Kawasaki in the penultimate round at Assen.
His wins at Oulton Park were particularly spectacular, one in treacherous wet conditions followed by a dominant win in the second race that saw the youngster stretch a second gap after an opening lap reminiscent of those typical of six-time champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.
Dixon put up a strong fight towards the end of the year, including setting the fastest ever pole position lap at both Oulton Park and Assen, while also taking pole at the final round, on his quest for BSB glory.
While he would eventually miss out on the title, Dixon leaves BSB with his head held high after fighting for the crown at the age of 22. He now moves on to the Grand Prix scene where he’ll compete in the Moto2 class with the Angel Nieto team.