One of Northern Ireland’s fastest families has helped launch next year’s Cornmarket Motorbike Awards. Racing brothers Glenn, Graeme and Andrew Irwin will all be contenders for the main prize, the Cornmarket Irish Motorcyclist of the Year, when the winners are revealed in January in Belfast’s Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Favourite for the top award will undoubtedly be the reigning Cornmarket champion Jonathan Rea, who currently leads the World Superbike Championship. The Kawasaki rider, who has lifted the Cornmarket Irish Motorcyclist of the Year title for the last two years, is trying to become the first person ever to win the World Superbike series three times in a row.
Once again the organisers of the Cornmarket Awards have teamed up with the Enkalon Motorcycle Club, which means the overall champion will be presented with the famous Joey Dunlop trophy in the shape of the legend’s iconic yellow helmet.
The Irwin brothers have had a season to remember. Graeme was crowned British Motocross MX1 champion, BSB rider Glenn won a memorable last Superbike race at the North West 200, while Andrew has had multiple podium finishes in the British Supersport Championship.
Graeme said: “We have always been really competitive brothers. There’s some healthy rivalry between us and we seem to be have be driving each other on all year. We always look out for each others results, and the banter also flies as to who is the fastest Irwin!”
Glenn, who confirmed he will ride in the Macau GP later this year, said: “The standard of riders in this country, north and south, is pretty remarkable. We are really punching above or weight whether it’s in road racing, short circuit or off road. Jonathan Rea will be very hard to beat for the main award, but with lots of other awards up for grabs I hope it’s a great night for the Irwin family.”
Andrew, the youngest of the talented Irwin trio, is still hopeful of catching British Championship leader Keith Farmer. He said: “I am going to have to win every round and I know it’s a real long shot, but I will keep trying. The top four riders in the Supersport series are from Ireland, and that’s a wonderful reflection of the quality of riders we are producing”
Cornmarket Insurance Services is once again proud to be the title sponsor. Sam Geddis, Managing Director said: “As the chequered flag starts to come down on another fantastic motorcycle season during which riders have yet again excelled on the world and local scenes, we are thrilled to be supporting the awards.”
“Cornmarket continues to provide what we believe is a unrivalled service with the emphasis on customer care. This service and attention to detail is something the company is very proud of.”
The Cornmarket Irish Motorcyclist of the Year is the longest standing motorcycle accolade and voted for by the public and an expert panel of judges, chaired by former British champion Adrian Coates who said: “Its years since Tom Herron was presented with the first award, 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, Eugene Laverty, and Robert Dunlop to name but a few.”
In all more than a dozen awards will be presented. The black tie event will welcome some of the biggest names in the sport and details of how to vote will be announced soon.