Star-studded celebration of road racing

The cream of road racing talent was celebrated at the prestigious Adelaide Racer Awards in Belfast

The 2010 Adelaide Racer Awards have brought together many of the biggest names in motorcycle sport.

The annual awards ceremony is one of the biggest off-track events on the motorcycle racing calendar, with a star-studded audience of 500 attending the black tie event in Belfast on Friday night.

Among the racing greats in attendance were many stars of road racing, Grand Prix, World Superbikes, World Supersport, British short-circuit racing and more.

The evening's big winner was Ryan Farquhar, who had a staggering season. The two-time TT winner took an amazing 61 race victories, secured six National Championships and broke Joey Dunlop's long-standing record of 119 National race wins.

At the ceremony the 33-year-old picked up National Road Racer of the Year - beating competition from Keith Amor, John Burrows, Michael Pearson, Michael and William Dunlop - and his team, KMR Kawasaki, was named Team of the Year.

The Dugannon man was also presented with the Geoff Duke Trophy as winner of the 2009 Duke Road Race Rankings.

It didn't all go Farquhar's way, however; he missed out on International Road Racer of the Year and the evening's top award, the Irish Motorcyclist of the Year.

International Road Racer of the Year went to Steve Plater, who won the 2009 Senior TT and British Supersport title, with Ian Hutchinson - who won two TT races in the same day in 2009 - second and 2009 Senior TT podium finisher Conor Cummins, the fastest Manxman around the Mountain course, in third. The Dunlop brothers and 15-time TT winner John McGuinness were also shortlisted.

In the Irish Motorcyclist of the Year category the award when to World Supersport runner-up Eugene Laverty, World Superbike race-winner Jonathan Rea was second and Farquhar third. Michael Dunlop, Ian Lowry and Alastair Seeley and Farquhar were also shortlisted.

Laverty also took the Short-Circuit Rider award, ahead of Rea and Seeley, while Lowry received the Short Circuit Merit award. Two-time Formula Two World Champion Brian Reid presented the Fans' Race of the Year award to Rea for his stunning race-winning performance at the Assen round of the 2009 World Superbike season.

World Supersport Champion Cal Crutchlow was handed the International Rider award by football legend Keith Gillespie, while former Team Roberts rider Gary Cowan was inducted into the Bridgestone Hall of Fame, with the announcement made by eleven-time TT winner Phillip McCallen and Grand Prix star Jeremy McWilliams.

John McGuinness, the 15-time TT winner and outright lap record holder, presented the Young Rider of the Year to Jamie Hamilton.

Guest of honour was MotoGP legend Loris Capirossi. With 99 GP podiums to his name and an amazing 299 GP starts, Capirossi is one of the best known names in MotoGP.

As well as being on hand to present awards, the Italian GP great was handed the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Suzuki rider also revealed plans to head celebrations at this year's Isle of Man TT, where Suzuki will mark 50 years of competition.

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