Scott Redding, at least at the start of the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike season, was damned it he did win it and damned if he didn’t. On one hand, he was the ex-MotoGP rider who should have been head and shoulders above the opposition and on the other, if he failed he was the rider who should never have been in the top flight in the first place.
As it happens, he did win it, but only narrowly, and made such an impact on the series that his merchandising company are still all on holiday in the Seychelles (with other rich and spoilt bastards).
Redding proved that a good rider can adapt to new tyres, tracks and bikes. Team-mate Josh Brookes - champion in 2015 - did all he could at the season finale, winning all three races to finish just five points in arrears and surprisingly upbeat considering.
Brookes also had to get used to a new bike and a new team, and defied many in the paddock that were sure the straight-talking Australian would never get on with no-nonsense team boss Paul Bird. But there wasn’t a cross word all year. Well, none that any would admit to.
And on another Ducati came Tommy Bridewell. The rider that has firmly gelled with Steve Moore’s Oxford Racing Ducati team to the point where he was the only man who could give the slightly more works PBM mob a run for their money. A fan favourite, Bridewell has really found a home with Moore and is a serious challenger next year.
Another rider also finding his feet was Danny Buchan. A Showdown contender from the start, Buchan took a brace of wins to secure fourth place ahead of Tarran Mackenzie and that man Peter Hickman who got into the top six once again.
Vote for your 2019 BSN British Superbike Rider of the Year below. Vote closes December 21.