Belfast Telegraph

The race is on to land Joey Dunlop Trophy

By Paul Lindsay

Voting is now closed, so it's just a matter of counting down the days until the Adelaide Irish Motorcyclist of the Year is announced at the gala black tie Adelaide Motorbike Awards at the Ramada Plaza in Belfast on January 23.

Thousands of votes were cast during the online poll with the seven shortlisted hopefuls (in alphabetical order) being: Michael Dunlop, Glenn Irwin, Jack Kennedy, Eugene Laverty, Michael Laverty, Jonathan Rea and Alastair Seeley.

The stand-out performers in the aforementioned list must surely be Rea for his final foray with Honda, finishing third in the World Superbike Championship last season, Seeley, whose North West 200 double with Mar-train Racing was backed up with second place in the British Supersport Championship, and Dunlop, whose second consecutive four-timer at the Isle of Man TT makes him my favourite to land the top prize for the very first time.

A somewhat surprise omission from the final shortlist was promising Jordanstown racer Andy Reid.

The 21-year-old finished second in last year's Pirelli National Superstock 600cc Championship, but will no doubt be on the Black Horse Short Circuit Rider of the Year award shortlist when the full line-up is announced this weekend in the Sunday Life.

In all, 14 awards will be handed out at the Ramada Plaza, culminating with the biggest prize of the evening, the aforementioned Adelaide Irish Motorcyclist of the Year.

Last year it was Eugene Laverty who scooped the top prize from his home in Monaco, but I'll be very surprised if the famous Joey Dunlop trophy is not residing in Ballymoney in just over a week's time.

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