Vote for your 2021 BSN BSB rider of the year

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Picture: Impact Images

2021 saw the British Superbike Championship celebrate its 25th anniversary and just like the 24 previous years, this season was another belter as it returned to a full complement of 11 rounds.

The Showdown threw up its usual twists and turns, maybe more than before, but it was ultimately Tarran Mackenzie and McAMS Yamaha who prevailed, the 25-year old following in the footsteps of his illustrious father Niall who claimed the crown three years in a row, from 1996 to 1998. But was he your BSN BSB Rider of the Year?

It was Mackenzie’s teammate Jason O’Halloran who made the running for three quarters of the season with 11 wins giving him an advantage of more than 100 points prior to the Showdown commencing.

The Australian’s season fell away though from that point onwards and he slipped back to third overall with the leading Ducati of Tommy Bridewell coming through to second. The Oxford Products Racing rider took three wins including a dominant performance at Oulton Park which saw him lead by more than eight seconds at one stage.

VisionTrack Ducati’s Christian Iddon pushed O’Halloran harder than anyone in the first half of the season although a few spills mid-season, some not his own doing, saw him lose ground.

He was still in with a chance of the crown going into the final round but ultimately had to settle for fourth overall, two places ahead of teammate and 2020 Champion Josh Brookes who struggled majorly in the early rounds. He regrouped to take a couple of podiums at the back end of the year, but it was far from the title defence he’d hoped for.

Sandwiched in between was the leading BMW of Peter Hickman, the FHO Racing rider taking a superb double at his local Cadwell Park circuit whilst similarly mounted Danny Buchan was victorious at Knockhill on the Synetiq-backed machine. Concussion at Donington Park and subsequent missed races scuppered his campaign.

Injury also affected Honda’s Glenn Irwin with a dislocated shoulder suffered at round four at Thruxton hampering him for the remainder of the season although he did take a win at Silverstone to make it into the Showdown.

Outside of the top eight, Lee Jackson was a deserved winner of the Rider’s Cup, the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki man regularly finishing in the top six during the year. Team-mate Rory Skinner also impressed and, aided by two podiums at Knockhill, took the Rookie of the Year accolade.

Buildbase Suzuki’s Gino Rea was another to get quicker as the year progressed, with two maiden BSB wins the outcome at Donington Park and he was the only rider outside of the Showdown to take a victory. Teammate Danny Kent took a first ever BSB podium at Thruxton only for injury to curtail his season at the following round.

Ryan Vickers (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki) showed undoubted pace at various stages of the season, including setting the fastest ever lap around Cadwell Park, and was unlucky not to finish on the rostrum whilst the Rich Energy OMG Racing duo of Bradley Ray and Kyle Ryde also ran up front on occasions. Andrew Irwin (Synetiq BMW) was the only other rider to stand on the podium during 2021.

BSN BSB rider of 2021