Jonathan Rea wins Irish Motorcyclist of the Year award for fourth year in a row

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Rea 'doesn't want bubble to burst'

Four-time World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea has been named Irish Motorcyclist of the Year for a record fourth year.

Rea collected the trophy at the Crowne Plaza on Friday night in recognition of becoming the first rider to win the global series four years in a row.

Peter Hickman was named International Road Racer of the Year and McAdoo Racing won a Special Recognition Award.

2018 British champions Keith Farmer and Jack Kennedy both received prizes.

Clogher rider Keith Farmer received an Outstanding Achievement Award for winning the Superstock 1000cc series for Tyco BMW, his fourth British Championship triumph, while Dubliner Kennedy was chosen as Short Circuit Rider of the Year on GB circuits after being crowned Supersport champion.

Ballyclare rider Rea, 31, recorded a record 11 successive race wins during the 2018 season and smashed Carl Fogarty's benchmark for the most number of wins in the series.

The Kawasaki man also set an all-time record for the number of podium finishes in World Superbikes and equalled American Doug Polen's 27-year-old record for the number of victories in one season.

The largest ovation of the night was reserved for Louise Dunlop and Janine Brolly, mother and partner of the late William Dunlop, who it was announced last week would be inducted posthumously into the Hall of Fame.

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'William was so special and his legacy is tremendous'

Lincolnshire rider Hickman was a clear winner of the international award after winning two races at the Isle of Man TT in June and setting a new lap record for the Mountain Course in a dramatic Senior TT success.

The Smith's Racing competitor also enjoyed a Superstock triumph at the North West 200, was named man-of-the-meeting at the Ulster Grand Prix and took a third Macau Grand Prix victory in November.

The Cookstown-based McAdoo Racing team have sponsored a number of riders over a period of 35 years in road racing but were struck by tragedy in July when one of their racers, Yorkshireman James Cowton, was killed at the Southern 100 meeting on the Isle of Man.

Cowton's thrilling win in one of the Supertwins races at last year's North West 200 was voted as Race of the Year in a public poll.

Recent Cornmarket Irish Motorcyclist of the Year winners
2018Jonathan Rea
2017Jonathan Rea
2016Jonathan Rea
2015Michael Dunlop
2014Eugene Laverty
2013Ryan Farquhar
2012Alastair Seeley

British Junior Supersport champion Eunan McGlinchey was chosen as Young Rider of the Year, with the Aghadowey pilot's team, Team #109, selected as Team of the Year.

Mullingar man Derek McGee won National Road Racer of the Year after winning the Irish Superbike, Supersport and Supertwin series in 2018, with Ulster Superbike champion Gerard Kinghan the top Short Circuit Rider of the Year on Irish Circuits.

Martin Barr, who finished seventh in the MX2 class at the Motocross des Nations, came out on top in the Off Road rider of the Year category and long-serving race officials John and Valerie Crichton won the Services to Motorcycling award.