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 record-shattering road racing season, 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!
Roads Rider of the Year - 5th - Conor Cummins
Conor Cummins enjoyed his strongest international roads campaign in recent years in 2018, powering to his first international win in nine years in the opening Supersport race at this year’s Ulster Grand Prix.
In one of few races held over full race distance on the Dundrod course this year with bad weather hampering the event, Cummins took a convincing win from Adam McLean and Dean Harrison to end his nine-year drought. He also took two further rostrum finishes in the Supersport and Superstock races on Saturday.
But the Manxman didn’t just have his Ulster Grand Prix success to celebrate in 2018 as he took the Padgetts Honda to the podium in both big bike Isle of Man TT races.
Finishing second in the Superbike race to Michael Dunlop, Cummins would go on to beat the Ulsterman to the final rostrum spot in the coveted Senior TT behind Peter Hickman and Dean Harrison in a record-breaking race.
All the more impressive was that Cummins achieved that feat on a Honda CBR1000RR SP2, while the official Honda Racing team continued to struggle with the new machine.
Other highlights of 2018 included a top five finish in the superbike class at the North West 200 and a podium at the Classic TT.