Peter Hickman started the 2019 International Road Racing season as the man to beat and he didn’t disappoint. Weather prevented him from bettering his record-breaking exploits of 2018 at the Isle of Man TT but he still took a hat-trick of race wins and five podiums in total whilst he was also victorious again at the North West 200.
Only a red flag denied him victory at the Macau Grand Prix but the Ulster Grand Prix was nothing short of sensational for the Smiths Racing rider as he took seven wins from seven starts and hoisted the outright lap record to a lofty, and new world best, of 136.415mph.
Expected challengers Dean Harrison and Michael Dunlop had to play second fiddle to Hickman and although the former enjoyed another strong season, which included victory in the Senior TT, a third consecutive Southern 100 Championship and numerous other podiums at the three Internationals, the latter had a disappointing year by his own standards with just a Lightweight TT win to show for his efforts.
Lee Johnston took his first ever TT win with victory in the Supersport race, having already won the same race at the North West 200 and it was only that man Hickman who denied him doing the same at the Ulster GP where he had to settle for no less than three second place finishes. The Ashcourt Racing rider also became just the third Northern Irishman to win the Scarborough International Gold Cup.
Glenn Irwin took yet another Superbike victory at the North West 200 but it was Quattro Plant/Wicked Coatings Kawasaki team-mate James Hillier that walked away with the Man of the Meeting award after taking first, second, third and fourth place finishes in another meeting on the Causeway Coast affected by weather.
David Johnson claimed his maiden podium finishes at both the Isle of Man TT and Macau GP as well as taking his first ever victory at the Classic TT, a feat matched by Jamie Coward who also won the Privateer’s Trophy at the TT; indeed, he was the best privateer throughout the season.
Davey Todd made the step up from promising newcomer to International road race winner with victory at the North West 200 as well as podium finishes at the Ulster GP with strong finishes also coming at the TT and Macau. He was also crowned International Road Race Champion after nine wins from 12 races.
Conor Cummins was a frequent visitor to the International podiums during 2019 with Michael Rutter taking a record-breaking ninth victory at Macau and John McGuinness was back on top in the Senior Classic TT. And who can forget Bruce Anstey’s unforgettable comeback to the Mountain Course as he won the Lightweight Classic TT.
On the Irish roads, Derek Sheils went back to the top of the Superbike class this year while Michael Sweeney took overall victory in the Supersport class and Supertwin class, and was also runner-up to Sheils on the big bikes.
Vote for your 2019 BSN International Road Racer of the Year below. Vote closes December 22.