World Superbike legend Carl Fogarty will make a special appearance at the 2016 Blackhorse Northern Ireland Motorcycle Festival at the Eikon Exhibition Centre, which takes place from February 5-7.
The news was confirmed at the official launch of the show on Thursday as final details were announced at the new venue on the former Maze prison site at Balmoral Park, Lisburn.
The four-time WSBK champion is a hugely popular figure in Northern Ireland, renowned for his pure road racing exploits at the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix in addition to his stunning success on the World Superbike stage.
Foggy’s fame shot to a new level in 2014 when he was named ‘King of the Jungle’ after winning popular TV series ‘I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here’.
The Blackburn star will attend the festival, organised by Billy and Marty Nutt for the 21st year, on Saturday, February 6.
“Carl is a legend in motorcycle racing and it’s a feather in our cap that he will be making the trip to Northern Ireland to attend the show as our guest on Saturday, February 6,” Billy said.
“He needs no introduction to the fans here and I have no doubt he will receive a very warm welcome next month.
“Northern Ireland holds special memories for Carl and we all have fond memories of his Superbike double on the Moto Cinelli Ducati at the North West 200 in 1993.”
Guests at the official launch on Thursday included new British Superbike signing Glenn Irwin, who has joined Paul Bird’s new-look Be Wiser Ducati team for 2016, plus Andy Reid.
Carrick rider Irwin makes the step up in class this year after becoming a regular race-winner in the British Supersport Championship.
The bubbly Ulsterman will team up with four-time BSB champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne after landing one of the most coveted rides in the British championship paddock.
The 25-year-old made a spectacular debut at the North West 200 last year, finishing second in the feature Supersport race and also stood on the rostrum at the Ulster Grand Prix with a brace of top three finishes in on the Gearlink Kawasaki.
Irwin is one of the most popular riders around and is sure to be a big hit with the public next month, when he will also participate in the Temple Club’s David Jefferies Memorial Supermoto event, which will be held on Saturday and Sunday, February 6-7.
“Glenn won’t be there to make up the numbers in the David Jefferies Supermoto and he’s a fantastic addition to the line-up,” Marty said.
“He has a fantastic opportunity ahead of him this year in the British Superbike Championship and we are delighted to have him at the show and wish him all the best for 2016.”
Young Jordanstown rider Reid has set his sights on winning the British Supersport crown this season after signing for the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team.
Reid won his maiden Supersport race at Oulton Park last year, but his elation was tempered by a crash in race two, which ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign.
However, the 21-year-old has fully recovered from his injuries and is confident he can build on a promising debut year in the class to mount a title challenge in 2016.
All the major motorcycle manufacturers and dealerships will be represented under one roof and special discounted admission tickets are available now from most motorcycle dealerships throughout Northern Ireland.
Along with the David Jefferies Memorial Supermoto, the legendary Purple Helmets will bring their renowned stunt show to the event, while 11-time Isle of Man TT winner Michael Dunlop will perform demonstration laps in his Mk2 Ford Escort rally car.
Fans will also have the chance to win a thrill ride with the road racing star, which is sure to be an experience they will never forget!
Parking is free, with admission costing only £12/15 euros or £6 for senior citizens and children up to the age of 14 admitted free.
Opening hours are Friday, February 5 from 2pm-10pm and 10am to 5pm on Saturday, February 6 and Sunday, February 7.
More details are available online at www.motorcyclefest.tv.