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 MotoGP championship another close-fought affair every weekend even as Marc Marquez romped to title victory, 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!
Second: Cal Crutchlow
It might have been cut short by injury, but right up until his major crash during practice fort the Australian grand Prix at the end of the season, Cal Crutchlow was on track not only for his best season in MotoGP but also for one of the best seasons enjoyed by an independent rider in a long time.
Setting the season off strongly with a win at the second round of the season in Argentina, Crutchlow maintained his form throughout the year to be sitting fifth in the championship – and challenging the factory Yamaha pairing of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales – when he was forced to sit out the final three rounds of the year after a freak crash at Phillip Island.
Even worse for him, he also missed out on what was possibly his best chance ever to finally tick the final box on his CV - a win at his home race. Going into Silverstone not only a favourite but head and shoulders above many of his opposition, a rain-cancelled race brought that to an end before it ever got started.
But with recovery from his injuries coming along strong and the LCR Honda rider aiming to be back on track at the first of 2019’s test early next month, there’s no reason why he can’t start where he left off in the new season.