Belfast Telegraph

Rea promises to return for the awards night of the year

 

By Jim Gracey

World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea will be one of the star guests at next year's Cornmarket Motorbike Awards. The Kawasaki rider will undoubtedly be favourite to retain the event's most coveted prize, the Irish Motorcyclist of the Year, when the winners are revealed on January 18 in Belfast's Crowne Plaza Hotel.

 Rea, who is poised to clinch another world Superbike title at the next round in Magny Cours in France next week, is delighted to help launch the biggest night in Irish motorcycling.

"To have riders from every discipline gather underneath one roof makes the Cornmarket Bike Awards a unique occasion" said Rea. 

"It's amazing to see the famous names on the main trophy and I hope mine can be added once again on the role of honour.

"Wherever I have been in the world I have flown home every year to support this event, as celebrating success with my fans at home is something very special to me" he continued. 

"My supporters make an incredible effort to travel to watch me in action, like last week in Portugal, so I enjoy repaying them by attending this prestigious night".

 A win in the next race could be enough for Rea to seal the Championship. If he takes the chequered flag and nearest rival Chaz Davies finishes no better than third, then he will have enough points to equal Carl Fogarty's career record of four World Superbike crowns. 

Rea has already smashed the Englishman's benchmark tally this season of 60 race wins, the Ballyclare man's victory count now standing at 66. 

"I am just trying to focus on doing the best I can, going out to win and not think about the championship," said Rea.

"That's going to be the attitude - to try and win the rest of these races."

Rea has won 12 of this year's 20 races so far over 10 rounds, including successive doubles at the last three rounds at Misano, Laguna Seca and Portimao, and has finished on the podium 17 times.

"The massive target of a fourth world championship is in the back of my head. Carl Fogarty has achieved that and he was the greatest of all time in Superbike terms.

"I have already surpassed his win total which is incredible and I just feel like it's my time, my wave, and I want to ride it for as long as possible and enjoy every moment of it."

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 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", said the former British Champion. 

"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".

Cornmarket will continue their long-standing partnership with the Awards.

"Cornmarket is proud to be the title sponsor of the 2019 Motorbike Awards" Glenn Lindsay, MD said.

 "As the flag comes down on another fantastic motorcycle season during which riders have yet again excelled on the world and local scenes, we are delighted to be supporting the awards."

 "Cornmarket continues to provide what we believe is a unrivalled service for all bike and all types of insurance, with the emphasis on customer care"

In all, more than a dozen awards will be presented, and the event will welcome some of the biggest names in the sport. Details of how to vote will be announced in November.

  • Anyone wishing to purchase tickets can email tickets@bikeawards.co.uk or phone 07584058810. All details are also on Twitter @BikeAwards.

Belfast Telegraph

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