Ryan Farquhar lifts Dunlop trophy at annual Adelaide Motorcycle Awards

Ryan Farquhar was the winner of the Enkalon Irish Motorcyclist of the Year at the Adelaide Motorcycle Awards
Ryan Farquhar was the winner of the Enkalon Irish Motorcyclist of the Year at the Adelaide Motorcycle Awards

Ryan Farquhar was crowned the Enkalon Irish Motorcyclist of the Year in Belfast on Friday for the fourth time in his career.

The Dungannon rider collected the prestigious Joey Dunlop trophy to rapturous applause at the annual Adelaide Motorcycle Awards.

Farquhar – who announced his retirement from road racing last year following the tragic death of his uncle, Trevor Ferguson, in a crash at the Manx Grand Prix – won the inaugural Supertwin races at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT in 2012.

The KMR Kawasaki team owner’s ER6 machines filled the top three positions at the North West, with Jeremy McWilliams and Michael Rutter joining the proud Dungannon man on the rostrum.

Farquhar was also joined on the podium at the TT by Rutter, underlining the superiority of his KMR Kawasaki twins last season.

He completed the full set of international Supertwin victories at the Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod, where teammate Jamie Hamilton took the runner-up spot.

However, Farquhar’ achievements in 2012 weren’t confined solely to the Supertwin class, with the Co Tyrone star finishing on the rostrum in the Superstock race at the TT, taking third place behind John McGuinness and Michael Dunlop.

He was back on the podium in the second Supersport TT race, finishing third again behind Dunlop and Cameron Donald.

Farquhar beat off opposition from Dunlop, Keith Farmer, Jonathan Rea and Eugene Laverty to lift the feature award last night, which was voted for by the public and determined by a panel of judges.

Dunlop, though, had the consolation of lifting the International Road Racer of the Year gong following a terrific season between the hedges that saw the 23-year-old claim his third TT success in the Supersport class.

The Ballymoney rider also celebrated a Superbike and Superstock double at the Ulster Grand Prix and swept the boards at the Southern 100, winning a record five races on the Billown circuit.

Dunlop is targeting further success at the TT in particular in 2013 after joining McGuinness and Rutter in the Honda TT Legends team.

Clogher’s Keith Farmer, who wrapped up back-to-back British championship titles as he clinched the National Superstock 1000 crown, received the Adelaide Outstanding Achievement Award.

Farmer now steps up to the British Superbike series this season, when he continues to ride for Paul Bird Motorsport alongside reigning champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.

World Superbike ace Jonathan Rea was declared the Short Circuit Rider of the Year.

The Honda rider, who replaced the injured Casey Stoner in the factory Repsol MotoGP team for two rounds of the championship last year, finished fifth overall in the World Superbike Championship.

He also became the first British rider to taste success in the legendary Suzuka Eight Hours race in Japan.

Antrim’s John Simpson won the Special Road Race Award following his triumph in the Senior Manx Grand Prix, while Jack Kennedy was selected as Best Rider on UK and Ireland Circuits.

The Dubliner narrowly missed out on the British Supersport title at the final round of the series due to machine trouble.

Up and coming road racer Sam Wilson was named Red Bull Young Rider of the Year, while the BBC’s Jackie Fullerton received the Special Recognition Award to mark a 40-year career in broadcasting, during which he fronted coverage of countless motorcycle races in the inimitable style that made him a household favourite.

Graeme Irwin won the Off-Road Rider of the Year, while Jeremy McWilliams was inducted into the Hall of Fame.