Belfast Telegraph

Eugene lifts lid on bike awards

By Jim Gracey

World Superbike star Eugene Laverty has made a flying return visit to Belfast to launch the new look Adelaide Motorcycle Awards.

The annual gala event, the biggest night of the biking year, will be staged at the Ramada Plaza Hotel at Belfast's Shaw's Bridge on Friday, January 20 in the New Year.

In an exciting merger which brings all the big biking awards under one roof, the Adelaide organisers have teamed up with the Enkalon Motorcycle Club, which means the winner of the Irish Motorcyclist of the Year will now be presented with the famous Joey Dunlop trophy in the shape of the legend's iconic yellow Arai helmet.

Reigning champion and Yamaha rider Laverty, who immediately headed back to Italy for the latest round of the World Superbike Championship at Imola this weekend said: “I have won both the Adelaide and Enkalon Awards previously, and now that they are combining into one big award it makes it clear that to be the best motorcycle racer in Ireland this is the trophy to get your hands on.

“I have some tough competition as some of the road race guys have had great seasons so I'm hoping for a good end to my year to have a chance of winning it.

“With Joey Dunlop’s famous yellow helmet on the top, it’s obviously a trophy with a lot of history and it’s great that the oldest award can now be presented on the biggest and best night for our sport”

Motorcycle Insurance specialists, Adelaide Insurance Services, are proud to be the title sponsor of the awards.

Sam Geddis, founder and director of Adelaide, said: “We’re delighted to merge with the Enkalon Club to bring together Ireland's most prestigous and sought after awards to have one undisputed winner.

“Furthermore our continuous dedication to the motorcycling fraternity and to bike safety was recognised earlier this year when Adelaide was honoured in the UK’s leading awards with a Big Tick from Business in the Community”

The Enkalon Irish Motorcyclist of the Year is the longest standing motorcycle accolade and voted for by the public. Club chairman David Weir welcomed the invite to join forces with Adelaide organisers, BBC sports presenter Stephen Watson and former BBC Sports Editor Terry Smyth.

Davy commented: “The Enkalon Trophy was first presented back in 1978 to Tom Herron, and since then there has been an illustrious roll of honour with winners like world champions Joey Dunlop and Brian Reid, as well as Phillip McCallen, Jeremy McWilliams and Robert Dunlop to name but a few. We are thrilled with the new partnership which has made it possible for our awards to be showcased at this very prestigious event”

More than a dozen awards, decided by a public vote and expert panel of judges chaired by former British Champion Adrian Coates, will be presented.

Details of how to vote will be announced in the coming weeks with all the information available on the Adelaide website www.adelaideinsurance.com. The Belfast Telegraph will be the event media partner.

To purchase tickets, price £90, email |adelaidemotorcycleawards@mail.com or phone 0758 4058810.

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