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The end of an era…
Well, this year has certainly been a bit of a rollercoaster! After not looking like we were going to be racing at all at one point, we were able to get six rounds of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship under our belts and last week not only marked the last race of the year, but also the final race for Smiths Racing.
Since joining them back in 2017, we have been able to achieve some incredible results, and it has been a joy to be riding for Alan and Rebecca these past four seasons. Looking back, there have been so many highlights.
In 2016, they had had a bit of a tough year finishing 18th and 20th overall, so to join them over the winter of 17 and immediately click with the bike was great. We had a fantastic year in BSB, finishing top BMW and being the only one to make the Showdown. I was also able to take the team’s first ever BSB win at Thruxton that year, which was definitely a big moment.
It was just as mega on the roads, taking a podium in every race we entered at the Isle of Man TT before following that up with wins in the Superstock and Supersport races at the Ulster Grand Prix before just missing out on the win at Macau too!
2018 was a very special year for both myself and Smiths Racing. We were once again the top BMW in BSB and the only S1000RR to make the Showdown or climb onto a podium. The biggest success came on the roads, though. That year I was able to get mine, and Smiths, first North West 200 win, before taking my first ever TT win in the Superstock race.
It was the Senior TT race that year which proved to be our biggest achievement. Taking the victory in that race, along with the all-time lap record, is a testament to the entire Smiths Racing squad and, for me, it is definitely the highlight of working together. We were also able to celebrate some more wins at the Ulster and Macau that year.
With an all-new S1000RR last year, we made the Showdown once again – giving the new BMW its first (and only) BSB podium to date. It was another mega season on the roads, winning at the North West 200 before taking three wins at the Isle of Man TT, including putting the Triumph back on the top step in the Supersport class! The Ulster Grand Prix that year was an incredible achievement by the team, winning all seven races we entered: something that has never been done before.
This year might not have gone quite the way we had hoped, but everyone at Smiths Racing worked incredibly hard right up until the final race, and it was nice to be able to end the year with our best results.
It has been a pretty special few years with the Smiths guys, and I want to thank everyone for all of the hard work and effort they have put in. Although the team might have stopped, I hope Alan and Rebecca will remain familiar faces around the paddock for years to come.
As for next year, I’ve got some pretty exciting plans already lined up… but you’ll just have to wait a little longer before I can reveal them!