MOTORCYCLING: Nominees confirmed for Irish Motorcyclist of the Year

Jonathan Rea is the overwhelming favourite to win the Joey Dunlop trophy in Belfast.
Jonathan Rea is the overwhelming favourite to win the Joey Dunlop trophy in Belfast.

The outcome may be a formality, but voting is underway for the Cornmarket Irish Motorcyclist of the Year following confirmation of the full list of nominees.

Jonathan Rea is the overwhelming favourite to win the coveted accolade for the third year in a row at the gala ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast on Friday, January 26.

Michael Dunlop, who won two more races at the Isle of Man TT this year, is among the nominees for the top accolade at the Cornmarket Motorbike Awards.

Michael Dunlop, who won two more races at the Isle of Man TT this year, is among the nominees for the top accolade at the Cornmarket Motorbike Awards.

Rea made history as he won the World Superbike Championship for a record third successive season his year and is set to lift the prestigious Joey Dunlop trophy as the main award winner next month.

The 30-year-old will fly in from pre-season testing in Spain to attend the event in the New Year. Rea has also been nominated as one of the contenders for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, which takes place on Sunday in Liverpool.

Twenty five competitors from various disciplines of the sport have been nominated for the famous Joey Dunlop silverware in association with the Enkalon Club.

The final shortlist and overall winner will be decided by a special online public vote and a panel of judges.

Glenn Irwin won the main Superbike race at the North West 200 and triumphed at the Macau Grand Prix. Irwin also celebrated his maiden British Superbike victory this year.

Glenn Irwin won the main Superbike race at the North West 200 and triumphed at the Macau Grand Prix. Irwin also celebrated his maiden British Superbike victory this year.

There are three sets of racing brothers on the list of nominees. Andrew, Glenn and Graeme Irwin had a season to remember. Andrew was runner-up in the British Supersport Championship, British Superbike rider Glenn won a memorable final Superbike race at the North West 200 and also won the Macau Grand Prix, while Graeme was crowned British Motocross MX1 Champion.

The other brothers included are World Superbike rider Eugene Laverty and BSB star Michael Laverty, plus road racers Michael and William Dunlop from Ballymoney.

Michael won two Isle of Man TT races in June, including the Senior TT, and is now the fourth most successful rider ever around the Mountain Course with 15 victories.

Also among the contenders, who will all be in attendance at the awards, are British Supersport champion Keith Farmer, NW200 record holder Alastair Seeley - who won four races at the event this year - British championship riders David Allingham, Josh Elliott and Carl Phillips, plus multiple Irish road racing champion Derek McGee.

Other competitors chasing your vote include Martin Barr, Lee Johnston, Jack Kennedy, Jason Lynn, Adam McLean, Eugene McManus, Andy Reid, Derek Sheils, Charles Stuart and Scott Swann, all of whom had a successful season either on the home front or beyond.

The public vote, which will close on December 31st, can be accessed via any computer, iPad, iPhone, Android or mobile device, and will be overseen an expert panel of judges chaired by former British Champion Adrian Coates.

“Last year we had a massive vote topped by Jonathan Rea and this year we are hoping for even bigger,” said Coates.

“Rea is obviously the overwhelming favourite, but making the final shortlist is regarded as an important accolade for every rider, so there’s plenty at stake. This shortlist also helps decide some of the other awards on the night.”

A dozen awards will also be presented at the sold-out event, including IFS Road Racer of the Year, Blackhorse Best Short Circuit rider on UK and Ireland circuits, JWA Team of the Year, RPS Hall of Fame, Greenlight Television Special Recognition, and Bet McClean Race of the Year.

Details of how to vote can be found on Twitter @BikeAwards and on the event’s Facebook page Cornmarket Motorbike Awards.

The nominees for the 2017 Cornmarket Irish Motorcyclist of the Year are:

David Allingham

Martin Barr

Josh Elliott

Michael Dunlop

William Dunlop

Keith Farmer

Andrew Irwin

Glenn Irwin

Graeme Irwin

Lee Johnston

Jack Kennedy

Richard Kerr

Eugene Laverty

Michael Laverty

Jason Lynn

Derek McGee

Adam McLean

Eugene McManus

Carl Phillips

Jonathan Rea

Andy Reid

Alastair Seeley

Derek Sheils

Charles Stuart

Scott Swann