Before we bid a final farewell to the year that was 2023 and begin gazing ahead to the year that will be 2024, BSN looks back at the 2023 British Superbike Championship to bring you our rundown of the Top 10 BSB Riders of the Year.
In eighth we introduce top rookie Charlie Nesbitt…
|MasterMac by Hawk Racing
|2nd [Rd. 7 Thruxton]
While it is still difficult to argue against a reputation that BSB teams will err towards wisdom and experience when it comes to picking riders, rather than take a punt on fresh - albeit raw - talent emerging through the junior ranks, next generation’s wave was certainly more noticeable in 2023 than it has been in previous years.
It led to debuts for the likes of 2022 Superstock Champion Davey Todd, British Supersport standout Bradley Perie and hotly-tipped teenager Max Cook.
However, it was Charlie Nesbitt who’d comfortably emerge as the standout ‘noob’ in 2023, the 22-year old belying a fairly set of results at Superstock level to prove a quick learner on the ‘full fat’ Hawk Racing Honda CBR1000RR-R.
Tapping into the skill-set has seen Nesbitt already collect three British titles - in British Motostar and twice in the British GP2 Championship - in his burgeoning career, Nesbitt vied with Danny Kent for status as top Honda representative, their private duel decided in the former’s favour after his rival was forced to curtail his campaign.
Breaking into the top six by Round 3 at Donington Park and establishing himself as a regular top ten visitor over the course of the season, it was Nesbitt’s headline-grabbing performance on ‘home soil’ at Thruxton that ultimately made the paddock sit up and take notice.
Reeling off a trio of podiums - including a second place finish just hundredths shy of a spectacular victory - around arguably BSB’s most demanding venue, it was enough to consolidate Nesbitt’s status as Rookie of the Year, both in terms of points and widespread appraisal.
On the flip side, Nesbitt’s newcomer status was somewhat betrayed by a fair few DNFs, notably a trio of retirements at Knockhill in the wake of him qualifying inside the top five.
Nonetheless, not only does the future look very bright for Nesbitt, he’s given the cause of convincing teams to give tomorrow’s budding BSB stars a chance, a huge service.
BSN's Top 10 BSB Riders of 2023:
10th - Danny Kent
9th - Josh Brookes