Rider of the year

Performance Bikes (UK) - - BIKES AWARDS 2018 -

BE­FORE MICHAEL GETS TOO soz­zled and re­fuses to ac­knowl­edge any tal­ent other than his own, we open the prize giv­ing, such as it is, by say­ing nice things about peo­ple.

“You’ve got to con­sider Marc Mar­quez be­fore any­one else. How can he keep get­ting away with it? He’s a god, no less. Peo­ple are go­ing to be talk­ing about the first time they saw Mar­quez save a crash, make an over­take or what­ever – he’s re­ally changed MotoGP. It’s up there with putting a man on the moon, build­ing the pyra­mids... in fact, sod all that, it’s just sci­ence – Mar­quez is all skill and feel. I just don’t un­der­stand it.”

JM coun­ters with an­other cham­pion – Johnny Rea. “He’s so good he makes it look easy, and bor­ing to watch. That’s got to be the high­est com­pli­ment you can pay a racer – it’s like Mick Doohan. It’s not nec­es­sar­ily the best thing for the se­ries, but you can’t deny he’s in a dif­fer­ent world.”

Sur­pris­ingly, no­body has men­tioned road rac­ing. So I do: Michael Dun­lop, Peter Hick­man and Dean Har­ri­son are thrown into the mix.

“We haven’t seen Michael at his best this year, which is a shame be­cause there’s no telling if he’ll race again,” Rut­ter pon­ders. “Dean and Peter were on an­other level at the TT this year – it was fright­en­ing, the speed and com­mit­ment they had right from the first night of prac­tice.”

“I was gut­ted for Dean, not get­ting the big bike wins he de­served, but when you push that hard, you are risk­ing ma­chine fail­ures,” Johnny adds.

I bring up a par­tic­u­lar Hicky mo­ment – not the stun­ning Se­nior win and 135mph lap record at the end of the race, but his maiden win in Su­per­stock: com­ing back from at least a 30-sec­ond deficit af­ter run­ning on at Brad­dan Bridge, rid­ing out of his skin, and in his own words ‘get­ting away with it’...

“I didn’t see that – bloody hell, that’s some go­ing,” Michael con­cedes. “Re­mem­ber it was only his fourth year, too – Dean’s been rac­ing twice as long; Hicky is ahead of the curve and bring­ing BSB front-run­ner rid­ing to the roads,” adds McAvoy. Say no more:: Peter Hick­man, Team PB’s Rider of the Year. Bar­keep – an­other round, please...

Hick­man’s TT per­for­mance was on an­other level

Pint No1 and Johnny’s al­ready gurn­ingDo­minik Klein’s Yamaha MT-10RR: no­body needs it, but we all want it

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