Two of the most sought after presentations at Friday night’s Enkalon Irish Motorcyclist of the Year Awards are the Belfast Telegraph sponsored Race of the Year and IFS International Road Racer of the Year.
The Telegraph Race of the Year has six nominations with World Superbike contenders Eugene Laverty and Jonathan Rea in contention for their respective race wins at Portimao and Donington Park.
The calibre of opposition at this level makes winning a true achievement and to have two local riders at the sharp end of WSB is remarkable.
Two fantastic Supersport races at the Ulster Grand Prix also feature.
William Dunlop and Bruce Anstey, so evenly matched, fought tooth and nail never more than a few feet apart with each taking a narrow victory.
Ryan Farquhar recruited top riders Michael Rutter and Jeremy McWilliams, making his Irish road race debut, into his KMR Kawasaki Supertwin team alongside his young protégé Jamie Hamilton for the inaugural Supertwin race at the North West 200 and in a dream scenario Farquhar won the race with McWilliams a sensational second and Rutter third for a KMR Kawasaki podium lock out while young Hamilton finished a tremendous sixth.
The Adelaide Masters final at Bishopscourt for the Norman Brown Trophy was a thrilling battle throughout as five riders; Cody Nally, Lee Johnston, Marshall Neill, Brian McCormack and David Haire had the fans on the edge of their seats with their passing and re-passing that went on for 12 laps before Neill took the chequered flag to win by a mere 0.021sec from Johnston, McCormack, Nally and Haire 0.66sec covering the five at the end.
Off-road Martin Barr found himself switching team halfway through the motocross season and in true fairytale fashion he won his first race for Tyco Suzuki by TAS during the Red Bull Pro national meeting at Doncaster.
In the IFS International Road Racer category it is a proverbial who’s who of competitors nominated.
John McGuinness, Michael Dunlop, William Dunlop, Bruce Anstey, Michael Rutter, Guy Martin and Alastair Seeley won no less than 16 international races either at the North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix, TT or Macau while John Simpson was the surprise winner of the prestigious Senior Manx Grand Prix on his Mountain Course debut.
All will be revealed on Friday night at the sell-out Gala Black Tie Awards presentation in the Shaw's Bridge Ramada Plaza Hotel.