Tag: Irish Motorcyclist of the Year

Jonathan Rea named Irish Motorcyclist of the Year for third year in a row

Jonathan Rea has lifted yet another trophy as he was named Irish Motorcyclist of the Year at last night’s Cornmarket Bike Awards.

The three time back-to-back World Superbike Champion took home the Joey Dunlop trophy for the third time in the row, becoming only the second rider ever to do so – the other was Dunlop himself. Rea has now won the award five times having previously been given it in 2007 and 2008. It comes after he placed second in BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year in December.

It was a successful night for the Reas at the annual awards – held once again at the Ramada in Belfast – as TT winner Jonathan Rea Snr was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Kawasaki stalwart and Jonny Rea Jnr’s crew chief Pere Riba was also presented with an Outstanding Achievement award.

The presentations were kicked off with a Special Recognition Award for the Enkalon Motorcycle Club – the group who originally founded the Bike Awards – who are due to step away from motorcycle racing after over 40 years of service. The club were presented their award by Eugene Laverty.

Glenn Irwin won two awards including the Greenlight TV Special Recognition Award. The BSB rider won at both the North West 200 and Macau Grand Prix in 2017 and was given the award for entertaining on the track. He also picked up the award for Race of the Year after the North West 200 Superbike race was voted the best by fans. It was a thrilling battle between Irwin, Seeley – who was also there to receive the award – and Ian Hutchinson. Graeme Irwin was also victorious as he won Off Road Rider of the Year.

2017 Irish and Ulster Supertwin, Supersport, and Superbike Champion Derek McGee picked up the award for National Road Racer of the Year after a highly successful year on the roads. Peter Hickman – whose 2017 road racing results included a hat-trick of victories at the Ulster Grand Prix – was named International Road Racer of the Year.

Philip McCallen was on hand to present his sponsored award to the Young Rider of the Year Richard Kerr. Kerr finished fourth in this year’s Motostar British Championship just six points off third place. Cornmarket’s founder Sam Geddis received the Services to Motorcycling Award.

Last year’s British Supersport champion Keith Farmer won the award for Best Rider on British Short Circuits. Jason Lynn, who was recently named Young Rider of the Year at the Masters Superbike Championship awards at the end of last year, picked up the award for Short Circuit Rider of the Year after winning the Masters Supersport championship. Tyco BMW were named Team of the Year.




Eugene Laverty crowned Adelaide Irish Motorcyclist of the Year

Eugene Laverty has been crowned Adelaide Irish Motorcyclist of the Year for a second time, having previously won in 2010. The Toomebridge rider, who finished runner-up in 2013’s World Superbike Championship, beat off stiff competition from Michael Dunlop to be presented with the Joey Dunlop trophy.

Michael Dunlop, who had an incredible year on the roads but announced that he will not be racing in 2014, did not leave empty handed after being awarded the International Road Racer of the Year and National Road Racer of the Year accolades. On Friday morning, before the ceremony, he had been awarded the Freedom of Ballymoney. Both his dad – Robert Dunlop – and Uncle Joey Dunlop had been awarded the honour in 2007 and 1993 respectively.

Other winners at the gala event – held at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Belfast – included Nico Mawhinney, Mar-Train Racing, and Ian Lougher.

Lougher, who retired from road racing at the end of last season, has had a long and illustrious career, including multiple wins at the Isle of Man TT, North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix. He received the Special Recognition award on the night. Alan Irwin, who has won numerous Irish Short Circuit championships with over 300 wins to his name, was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Nico Mawhinney, who came in third in the race for Irish Motorcyclist of the Year, was awarded the Red Bull Young Rider of the Year trophy, having won the Irish Superbike championship in 2013. Natalie Kane, who races in motocross, won the Off Road Rider of the Year award while Alastair Seeley picked up the Black Horse Best Rider on UK and Ireland Circuits prize.

Elsewhere, British Supersport champions Mar-Train Racing were named Team of the Year with their rider Stuart Easton bringing home the award for Race of the Year, for his battle with Seeley at Brands Hatch for the Supersport championship.

Other winners on the night included Marty Nutt for Outstanding Achievement; and Chaplains Noel Agnew, Edwin Ewart and John Kilpatrick for Services to Motorcycling.

The event, which was compered by Stephen Watson and Jackie Fullerton, officially marks the end of the 2013 season, with preparations well under way for the year ahead.

Laverty, who was unable to attend the event, was testing in Almeria Spain with new team Crescent Suzuki. Stephen Watson travelled to Monaco to present him with his award.

“It’s fantastic to win this award,” Laverty said. ¬†“This is a huge accolade in Irish motorcycle racing – the one we all want to get. Joey [Dunlop] was a hero of mine when I was growing up. I think the Joey Dunlop helmet is synonymous with racing in Ireland nowadays and the trophy means so much.”

Michael Dunlop, who announced at the end of last season that he would be sitting this year out if he could not find a suitable deal, revealed at the awards that he would be testing a bike next week.

“If I’m going to be racing everything has to be right – I want to be able to enjoy myself again,” Dunlop said. “I’m testing a bike next week and if it all goes right, and I enjoy it then I’ll come back this year, but at this moment in time I won’t be racing.”

Another racer who recently confirmed their 2014 plans is Jamie Hamilton, who enjoyed a successful year in 2013, becoming Irish Supertwins and Supersport champion. He split from Ryan Farquhar and KMR Kawasaki at the end of last year and has since announced that he will be racing Stewart Smith’s supertwins bike (previously ridden by Dean Harrison who is racing with Mar-Train in 2014) and John Duggan’s 600.