Michael Dunlop ‘honoured’ by Irish Motorcyclist of Year recognition

Irish Motorcyclist of the Year Michael Dunlop
Irish Motorcyclist of the Year Michael Dunlop

Michael Dunlop said he was ‘honoured’ to receive the Joey Dunlop trophy for the first time after being crowned the Adelaide Irish Motorcyclist of the Year in Belfast on Friday night.

The 25-year-old emulated his dad Robert and uncle Joey, who won the Enkalon Club’s prestigious silverware twice and eight times respectively.

Dunlop edged out Kawasaki World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea to win the feature award at the Ramada Plaza Hotel.

The Ballymoney man, who became the first rider ever to score consecutive four-timers at the Isle of Man TT, said: “It’s an honour to get this trophy. It might not suit some people that I got it, but that’s ok - I’m here for the racing and that’s what I do.

“I’ve been surrounded by very good sponsors and supporters for years now and we do the best we can. If it wasn’t for those boys I’d never had done the things I have.

“I’ve worked hard over these past two years [at the TT] to get this and it’s a big honour for me,” added Dunlop, who has signed to ride for Milwaukee Yamaha at the international road races in 2015.

“Yes, I’m a nephew [of Joey’s], but I’m still a fan too.”

Assessing the opposition he faced for the main accolade from fellow Northern Ireland rider Rea, Dunlop added: “It’s hard to contend against someone like that and his game is as hard as mine, if not harder.”