Cast your vote for Irish Motorcyclist of Year

Double World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea.

Double World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea.

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Voting has opened for the prestigious Cornmarket Irish Motorcyclist of the Year award, with the famous Joey Dunlop trophy going to the overall winner.

World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea is the overwhelming favourite to scoop the top accolade for the second year in succession after successfully retaining his world crown in 2016.

The Kawasaki star became the first rider since World Superbike king Carl Fogarty in 1999 to win back-to-back titles.

The list of nominations has been revealed as the countdown begins in earnest to the biggest night in Irish motorcycling at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Belfast on January 27.

A public vote, overseen by a panel of judges, will decide the outcome and details of how to make your selection can by found on the Cornmarket Motorbike Awards Facebook page at www.facebook.com/motorbikeawards or on Twitter @BikeAwards.

A total of 25 riders have been selected for the initial vote, which will be whittled down to a final shortlist for the feature award.

The riders listed will also form part of the nominations for awards in the remaining categories, with a dozen accolades in all due to be presented at the glittering bash in the New Year.

Ex-British champion Adrian Coates, who will once again chair the judging panel, expects fans to vote in their thousands once more.

“We hope people will enjoy logging onto our new Facebook page to join in the debate and to vote,” he said.

“The public really help the judges compile the short lists for short circuit, road racer, off road and young rider of the year awards.”

Alongside massive odds-on shot Rea, the full list of nominations for the 2016 Irish Motorcyclist of the Year Award is as follows: David Allingham, Martin Barr, Nikki Coates, Michael Dunlop, William Dunlop, Josh Elliott, Robert English, Keith Farmer, Andrew Irwin, Glenn Irwin, Graeme Irwin, Lee Johnston, Luke Johnston, Jason Lynn, Mark McLernon, Eugene Laverty, Michael Laverty, Carl Phillips, Jonathan Rea, Andy Reid, Justin Reid, Alastair Seeley, Derek Sheils, Scott Swann and Aaron Wright.

For ticket information, email: tickets@bikeawards.co.uk.