Belfast Telegraph

Eugene Laverty and Rea delighted to attend gala bash

By Roy Harris

World Superbike stars Jonathan Rea and Eugene Laverty will both make a flying visit back home to attend the Adelaide Motorcycle Awards in the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Belfast on January 23.

Rea, who finished third in this year's World Superbike Championship, will take a short break from pre-season testing in Spain while Laverty will jet in from his home in Monaco for what is the biggest night of the year on the motorcycling calendar.

January will be a busy month for Rea as it has now been confirmed that the 27-year-old has parted company with the official Honda World Superbike team run by Ten Kate Racing after six successful seasons to take up a new challenge with Kawasaki in WSB - partnering this year's runner-up Tom Sykes - and will be in the middle of a testing programme with his new team.

Rea, who has spent his entire racing career on Honda machinery until now, said: "I am really excited that my testing schedule allows me to attend what are the premier motorcycle awards in Ireland.

"I will have tested at Motorland Aragon in Spain and prior to a second test at Jerez I will be able to squeeze in this trip to Northern Ireland.

"It's going to be a busy New Year but I always enjoy coming home to celebrate all the racing talent in the country, catch up with friends and say a big thank you to the fans who give incredible support all season."

It is also all-change for 28-year-old Eugene Laverty in 2015, having secured the biggest opportunity of his career as he moves from the World Superbike Championship into MotoGP with the Spanish Aspar Honda team.

With a January testing ban for motorcycling's premier racing series, Laverty - who is the current holder of the Adelaide Motorcyclist of the Year in association with Enkalon - says he cannot wait to make the trip to Belfast.

"I was thrilled to be named Motorcyclist of the Year last January and although I was shocked to receive the unique Joey Dunlop Trophy in Monaco I was gutted not to be able to pick it up at the awards night in person," he said.

"I am definitely not missing the event this time - it is after all the biggest night of the year for motorcycling."

Excited about the start of his new challenge in MotoGP, Laverty added: "I waited patiently for the right opportunity to come along and jumped at the offer of a two-year deal with the Aspar Honda team.

"There are not many teams who would give you a two-year contract as a rookie, but I pushed hard for it because I want to have a proper go at it."

In all, more than a dozen accolades, decided by a public vote and an expert panel of judges chaired by former British Champion Adrian Coates, will be presented at the Adelaide Motorcycle Awards night.

Details of voting will be released after the racing season reaches its exciting conclusion with the Macau Grand Prix on November 16.

It promises to be a memorable night, with one or two surprises in store.

Anyone wishing to purchase tickets for the Awards night should telephone 07584058810 or email tickets@adelaidemotorcycleawards.com

There is also a special video promotion on the TV section on the Cornmarket website www.cornmarketinsurance.co.uk

Belfast Telegraph

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