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 insanely close road racing season, it wasn’t an easy call to decide who deserved what spot in our top five riders of the year. Here’s what we think - but feel free to disagree with us in the comments!
5th – Glenn Irwin
A relative rookie to road racing, Glenn Irwin turned heads in 2017 to take two international road race victories at the North West 200 and Macau Grand Prix.
Irwin had shown promise at the North West before, making his roads debut there with Gearlink Kawasaki in 2015 to take a podium after challenging for the win in the Supersport class.
After a year out in 2016, he headed back to the ‘Triangle’ circuit this year to try his hand at it for the first time on a Superbike with the Be Wiser Ducati team.
In one of the best races of the year, Irwin triumphed over Mr North West 200 Alastair Seeley in a titanic battle during the feature Superbike race, clinching victory by just 0.172 seconds.
He’d go on to win his second international road race in his second appearance at the Macau Grand Prix. Quick throughout the week, Irwin shattered Stuart Easton’s long-standing lap record to take pole before fighting for the win with Peter Hickman in the race.
However, while Irwin would be crowned winner of the 64th Macau Grand Prix, it wasn’t in the circumstances in which he’d hoped. The race was red flagged after an incident involving Dan Hegarty, who was later confirmed to have died. Leading at the time, a devastated Irwin was crowned the race’s winner.
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