Duke Road Race Rankings Awards
Duke Managing Director Peter Duke handed over the prestigious Geoff Duke Trophy – named after his illustrious, multi-World Champion father – to the 2011 rankings winner Ryan Farquhar.
He also presented the Duke Road Race Rankings Newcomer Award to Ronan Pentony, whose performances on the roads during 2011 ensured he was the top-placed new name in the rankings. It is the first time the rankings has featured an award for newcomers.
The presentations were made on stage at the Adelaide Motorcycle Awards in Belfast on Friday (January 20), in front of a 500-strong audience which included leading racing names such as reigning British Superbike Champion Tommy Hill, reigning British Supersport Champion Alastair Seeley, World Superbike race winner Eugene Laverty and road racing greats John McGuinness, Phillip McCallen and Steven Cull, the latest entry to the Bridgestone Hall of Fame.
Mr Duke said:
“We were delighted to once again be asked to present the Geoff Duke Trophy at the Adelaide Motorcycle Awards, which is rightly regarded as one of the leading off-season events in the motorcycling world.”
“The Duke Road Race Rankings were established more than a decade ago to recognise the dedication of true ‘between-the-hedges’ racers, ensuring their commitment to pure road racing events was acknowledged.”
“The Geoff Duke Trophy is now regarded as one of the great accolades in road racing, and the rankings are hotly contested every year – not least in 2011 when Ryan Farquhar was chased all the way by Dunlop brothers Michael and William.”
“It was, as ever, wonderful to see the reception winner Ryan received from the other greats of motorcycle racing during the presentation, and to be able to recognise one of road racing’s new stars in Ronan.”
Dungannon’s Ryan is no stranger to the Duke Road Race Rankings – 2011 was the sixth time overall, and fourth time in a row, he has claimed victory in the series, which features international road race meetings like the TT and North West 200 alongside smaller events such as Skerries and Walderstown.
After his 2010 win, Ryan was allowed to keep the original Geoff Duke Trophy, meaning it was a specially- commissioned new trophy which he was handed at the Adelaide Motorcycle Awards.
Ronan, of Drogheda, finished the season 10th overall in the Duke Road Race Rankings after a year which saw him take three race victories and 15 other podiums. His trophy was a replica of the now famous glass ball which sits atop the Geoff Duke Trophy.
Both were delighted with their awards, a humble Ryan dismissing suggestions he could retain the rankings title for an incredible fifth year in a row and Ronan suggesting his award could see his racing programme for 2012 expanded.
Mr Duke said the Duke Road Racing Rankings continues to go from strength-to-strength, and details of the new-look 2012 calendar will be unveiled next month.
“The addition of the Macau Grand Prix in 2010 took the rankings beyond the British Isles and proved exceptionally successful. We are hopeful of announcing the rankings will become even more international in 2012 during the coming weeks.”
Other awards handed out on the night included the Red Bull Young Rider of the Year (John Simpson), Black Horse Short Circuit Rider of the Year (Eugene Laverty), IFS Global Logistics Road Racer of the Year (Michael Dunlop) and the Enkalon Irish Motorcyclist of the Year, which went to Alastair Seeley.