8th – Glenn Irwin
Average poll score out of ten: 5.9
Gearlink Kawasaki/Cookstown B.E. Racing
Isle of Man TT wins:
Ulster Grand Prix wins:
Macau Grand Prix:
New Be Wiser Ducati British Superbike signing Glenn Irwin proved his versatility with a stunning debut at the North West 200 in May.
Irwin, who made his roads debut in 2014 in the Supertwin class at the Ulster Grand Prix, was a sensation on the Gearlink Kawasaki as he pushed circuit specialist and former British Supersport rival Alastair Seeley all the way in the opening Supersport race.
The outcome was in the balance until Irwin was cruelly forced to retire was engine trouble, but the exciting young talent had made people sit up and take notice and he proved it was no fluke in race two.
Irwin was embroiled in a three-way dice for the lead with Seeley and Lee Johnston in a thrilling contest that went down to the wire, with the wily Seeley taking full advantage at the final chicane on the last lap when Johnston went in too hot on the brakes while Irwin was also caught out, running over the grass.
Seeley pounced to secure another victory with Irwin taking a fine runner-up spot on his first appearance at the international road race, marking himself out as a future winner.
Irwin – fourth in this year's British Supersport Championship – returned to the world's fastest road race at Dundrod and shone yet again, finishing third in the first Supersport race behind Lee Johnston and William Dunlop on his maiden ride on a Supersport machine at the Ulster Grand Prix.
The 25-year-old bettered his result in race two, coming home behind Johnston in second to round off an excellent run of performances at Northern Ireland's two main road races.
Although next year's British Superbike Championship is Irwin's top priority on the PBM Ducati, he hasn't ruled out the possibility of making a return to the North West and Ulster Grand Prix, where the Carrick man would now be a considered among the favourites despite his relative inexperience on the roads.
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About the vote:
Thousands of votes were cast for the 2015 Crash.net
Road Racer of the Year poll, where viewers awarded a shortlist of this season's most impressive riders with a mark out of ten.