Belfast Telegraph

Six thrilling races are in the mix for prestigious accolade


Hot wheels: Alastair Seeley, Peter Hickman and Michael Dunlop battle at the North West 200
Hot wheels: Alastair Seeley, Peter Hickman and Michael Dunlop battle at the North West 200
Just champion: Paul Jordan hails his Armoy victory

By Roy Harris

Six races have been shortlisted by the Cornmarket Motorcycle Awards' panel of judges for the A McLean Bookmakers Race of the Year prize, and the public will now have their say to decide the winner.

The judging panel, chaired by former British 250cc champion Adrian Coates, also consists of Jeremy McWilliams, Brian Reid, Philip McCallen, Michael Swann and Gordon Crockard.

In no particular order, the Saturday Supertwin race at the North West 200 saw a thrilling slip-streaming battle between McWilliams, Joey Thompson and James Cowton that went down to the last lap at Juniper Chicane.

McWilliams and Thompson almost collided, which allowed Cowton a gap which he gratefully accepted to race through from third to first and win his first international road race by just over six tenths of a second.

The Around A Pound Tandragee 100 feature race around the 5.344-mile Co Armagh circuit produced a titanic six-lap scrap that saw half a second cover the top three at the chequered flag.

Derek McGee, Derek Sheils, Dan Kneen and Michael Sweeney battled it out and Kneen pounced on the final lap, racing through from fourth position to snatch the lead and hold off his rivals.

At Brands Hatch in October, Jack Kennedy and Alastair Seeley served up a restarted titanic eight-lap sprint race, the pair never more than feet apart throughout with the lead changing hands multiple times.

In the end, Kennedy swept under the chequered flag a mere nine one hundredths of a second ahead of Carrickfergus ace Seeley.

Back to the North West 200 and the second six-lap Superstock race that had spectators on the edge of their seats.

Peter Hickman, Seeley, Dean Harrison, Kneen and Michael Dunlop fought over every inch of track to gain an advantage. At the chequered flag, Seeley was a tenth of a second ahead of Hickman with Harrison third, Dunlop fourth, Gary Johnson fifth and Kneen sixth after another scintillating, heart-stopping slip-streaming thriller.

Although the Saturday action at Armoy Road Races was washed out, the Friday evening Supersport encounter was decided in the final dash to the chequered flag when Paul Jordan swept out of near neighbour Adam McLean's slip stream to win the race by the slimmest of margins - seven one thousandths of a second to be precise - in one of the closest ever finishes in Irish road racing.

Finally, Josh Elliott took victory for OMG Suzuki after 16 high-speed laps of Thruxton at the beginning of August.

He managed to hold off Taylor Mackenzie by a fifth of a second in a blanket finish with Lee Jackson in third.

To register your vote for the A McLean Bookmakers Race of the Year award, which will be presented at the Cornmarket Awards evening in the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Friday, January 18, go to

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