Belfast Telegraph

Rea heads an all star line up of champions set for awards

 

By Roy Harris

With voting due to close on Friday, December 28 for the Cornmarket Irish Motorcyclist of the Year awards it has been confirmed by organisers that World and British champions Jonathan Rea, Keith Farmer, Eunan McGlinchey and Jack Kennedy will be amongst the guests at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shaw's Bridge on January 15 for the sold-out presentations.

World Superbike 2019 pole-setter and podium finisher Eugene Laverty will also be in attendance, flying in from his Monaco base, for one of the most eagerly awaited evenings on the motorcycling calendar.

You can vote for your choice from the nominated list of Michael Dunlop, Keith Farmer, Andrew Irwin, Glenn Irwin, Jack Kennedy, Eugene Laverty, Derek McGee, Eunan McGlinchey, Jonathan Rea and Alastair Seeley by going to Twitter @BikeAwards or the Facebook page for the Cornmarket Motorbike Awards.

The Cornmarket Irish Motorcyclist of the Year is the longest standing motorcycle accolade and voted for by the public and a panel of expert judges, chaired by former British champion Adrian Coates.

"The trophy was first presented back in 1978 to Tom Heron, 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, Michael Dunlop and Robert Dunlop to name but a few", commented Coates.

"Last year a new version of the main trophy was presented for the first time, and it's fitting that the trophy is named after Northern Ireland's most famous motorcyclist Joey Dunlop".

Another award contender, Lincolnshire's Peter Hickman, continued his 2018 success story by taking a F1 Superbike by Suzuki double on his Carl Cox Motorsport/Smiths BMW on his debut at the Manfeild Circuit on the North Island of New Zealand during the second round of a three-race series.

The victory saw him move into third place in the championship, 11 points behind leader Shane Richardson with one round remaining on Boxing Day at the famous Whanganui Cemetery Circuit. In the opening round at Taupo, Hickman scored 14th and 5th positions after travelling from his Macau Grand Prix victory.

No UK Team will contest the 15th running of the Island Classic International Challenge at Phillip Island in Australia in 2019 due to lack of funding and new Australian legislation banning aviation fuel from January 1, the fuel used in UK historic racing and for which their machines are set up.

Local riders Jeremy McWilliams, Lee Johnston and Ryan Farquhar have been successful participants in UK teams in the past.

Meanwhile the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (Ulster Centre) Tarmac Committee have announced important information for all MCUI (UC) competition licence holders ahead of 2019.

They have invested in an online Compulsory 'E Learning' process replacing Flag and Anti-Doping seminars for which all competitors, except Newcomers, must register online at www.mcuiuccourses.co.uk.

These courses can be accessed 365 days a year with a 100% pass required in the flag safety test to obtain a certificate and an 80% pass in anti-doping policy.

All Newcomers must attend official training days on February 16 at Kirkistown, February 23 at Bishopscourt and March 3 back at Kirkistown.

To book places, contact the Race School Instructor at steveferguson@hotmail.com.

New race licence application medical forms have also been introduced for 2019 and have three parts to them - competitor self-declaration, doctor surgery report and eye test report from riders' optician or doctor.

Multi Irish and Ulster motocross champion and Irish MX des Nations team manager Philip McCullough has been installed as the new Chairman of the Motorcycle Racing Association.

And the Ulster Motocross Championship dates have been announced as March 30 (Claudy), April 22 (Desertmartin), May 6 (Seaforde), June 15 (Tinker Hill, Newry), July 13 (Seaforde) and September 7 (Tandragee).

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