In Pictures: Seeley stars in Irish Motorcyclist of the Year Awards
Alastair Seeley has been named the Enkalon Irish Motorcyclist of the Year, topping the poll with a record public vote.
The ‘Wee Wizard’ from Carrickfergus was presented with the iconic Joey Dunlop Trophy for the very first time, receiving a tumultuous ovation from a packed audience in the Ramada Plaza Hotel.
“This is the icing on the cake after what was a tremendous season for me,” he said.
“I have won many races and awards in the past, but the Enkalon always passed me by — this is the one to win.
“To receive such a magnificent trophy with Joey’s iconic yellow helmet is something special and something I’ve always dreamt about.
“It’s thanks to a lot of people that I have been able to achieve this, especially the TAS Team, my family and sponsors.
“Hector and Philip (Neill) put their faith in me and we did the business, bringing home the championship.
“Thanks to all the people who voted for me, it is really appreciated,” he added.
Seeley won the British Supersport Championship after a nail-biting season-long head to head with Ben Wilson, the pair thrilling spectators and worldwide television audiences with their no holds barred battles around the BSB circuits.
It was not only on the short circuits that 33-year old Seeley excelled however, as he was also the only race winner at the curtailed North West 200 back in May.
Seeley made it a double success on the night by claiming the Belfast Telegraph Race of the Year Award for his final title-clinching contest at Brands Hatch, the judges deciding the pressure to deliver in the last race of the season after crashing the day before swung the verdict his way.
In what was a sell-out gala evening over a dozen other Adelaide Motorcycle Awards — selected by a judging panel chaired
by ex-British champion Adrian Coates — were presented, with the IFS Road Racer of the Year title being won by Michael Dunlop after his outstanding season both on the international and national road race scene.
A merit award went to Junior and Senior Manx Grand Prix double winner Andrew Brady.
The Black Horse Short Circuit Rider of the Year was won by Eugene Laverty for his World Superbike performances that included a double success at Monza on his way to fourth in the highly competitive championship, while a merit award went to Keith Farmer, the Metzeler National Superstock 600cc champion in his first season racing on the British scene.
John Simpson picked up the Red Bull Young Rider of the Year Award having won the British Supersport Cup and setting a new track record at Aberdare on his way to winning the Welsh Open, while the Off-Road Rider of the Year went to Martin Barr for his
British Championship and Red Bull Pro National performances.
Ovation of the night was reserved for Steven Cull, inducted into the Bridgestone Hall of Fame, the Bangor man a true great of the racing world in the 70s and 80s.
The Belleek Team of the Year went to TAS Racing, the Hector and Philip Neill Moneymore-based outfit once again at the forefront of racing in BSB, British motocross and on the international road race scene.
Two special awards were announced with the Greenlight Television International Achievement Award going to Michael Rutter in recognition of his record breaking seventh Macau Grand Prix victory, and the Adelaide Insurance Outstanding Achievement Award to Tommy Hill acknowledging his dramatic British Superbike Championship title win.
Ryan Farquhar picked up the Duke Road Race Rankings Trophy for a record fourth time while Kirk Jamison received the Adelaide Masters Trophy.