Belfast Telegraph

How to vote for your Race of Year as five-strong shortlist is revealed


By Roy Harris

With the Cornmarket Irish Motorcyclist of the Year Awards night fast approaching, one of the eagerly-awaited prizes up for grabs is the BetMcLean Race of the Year in which the winner will be decided with the help of the public.

The judging panel of Adrian Coates (chairman), Brian Reid, Michael Swann, Jeremy McWilliams, Gordon Crockard and Phillip McCallen have nominated five outstanding races from road racing, World Superbike and British Supersport for your deliberation and then vote, with the winner revealed at the awards on January 26 in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Belfast.

You can vote for your favourite race right here.

But before you do, have a look at the five short-listed race. They are:.

1. The final Vauxhall North West 200 Superbike race

A dramatic seven-lap thriller was won by Glenn Irwin (PBM Be Wiser Ducati) ahead of the Tyco BMWs of Alastair Seeley and Ian Hutchinson, with less than a second splitting the trio at the chequered flag. It was Irwin's first major Superbike road race success.

2. The second World Superbike race at Assen

Jonathan Rea beat team-mate Tom Sykes to the chequered flag by 0.025 seconds for a weekend double on his way to an unprecedented third consecutive World Superbike Championship.

3. MMB Surfacing Ulster Grand Prix Superbike

The heart-stopping seven-lap contest went down as the fastest race in the world. The top five riders all lapped at over 134mph, with Dean Harrison recording a Dundrod absolute lap record of 134.614mph to become the current fastest rider in the world. However, he could only finish third in this pulsating race won by Bruce Anstey on the RCV Honda Fireblade. Peter Hickman was second, Dan Kneen fourth and Conor Cummins fifth, with a mere 1.2 seconds covering the top five.

4. Knockhill Supersport Race One

The first of two British Supersport races nominated is the 15-lap sprint race from Knockhill back in June where eventual championship winner Keith Farmer claimed the first of his nine victories in the series by 0.381 seconds from Andrew Irwin, Jack Kennedy and Ben Currie.

5. Brands Hatch Round 12 Sprint

The second nominated British Supersport race is the opening race at the final round, which saw Alastair Seeley on the Spirit Moto2 machine (which scores no championship points) beating fellow Carrickfergus rider Andrew Irwin by a tenth of a second. Irwin took the race-winning championship points for the very first time. The top seven in this race were separated by just 0.806 seconds.

There you have it, five memorable races from 2017.

Rea, the firm favourite to lift the Joey Dunlop trophy for the third successive year, and Eugene Laverty are both interrupting their pre-season testing to jet in from Spain and attend the awards.

Other competitors set to attend this appreciation of 2017 motorcycle sport include David Allingham, Carl Phillips, John McGuinness, Derek McGee, Josh Elliott and Michael Laverty.

Joining Stephen Watson as co-host for the second year running will be the voice of BT Sport's MotoGP coverage and former North West 200 winner Keith Huewen.

Other awards to be presented on the night include RPS Group Hall of Fame, Greenlight Television Special Recognition, Kawasaki Outstanding Achievement, Services to Motorcycling, Young Rider of the Year, International and National Road Racer of the Year, Off Road Rider of the Year, Short Circuit Rider of the Year (both on UK and Irish circuits) and Team of the Year.

The event culminates in the presentation of the main award of the evening, the Cornmarket Irish Motorcyclist of the Year. Can anyone stop Rea from a third successive title?

Belfast Telegraph


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