World Superbike star Jonathan Rea will make a special flying visit home in January to attend the Adelaide Motorbike Awards.
The Ballyclare man, who finished third in this year’s World Superbike Championship, will take a short break from pre-season testing in Spain to come to the annual event.
January is set to be a busy month for 27-year-old Rea who has two tests with his new factory Kawasaki team, after parting with Honda at the end of the season.
“I am really excited that my testing schedule allows me to attend the premier motorcycle awards in Ireland,” the former Larne Grammar pupil said.
“I can’t wait for my first test with my new team at Motorland, Aragon in Spain, and I’m delighted to be able to squeeze in a trip to Northern Ireland before flying back for a second test at Jerez.
“It’s a going to be busy start to an exciting New Year but I always enjoy coming home to celebrate all the racing talent in the country, catch up with friends and say a big thank-you to the fans who give me incredible support all season.”
Also attending the event will be last year’s Irish Motorcyclist of the Year, Eugene Laverty.
2015 will see big changes for 28-year-old who secured a move from the World Superbike Championship into MotoGP with the Aspar Honda team.
With a January testing ban for the sport’s premier class, he says he can’t wait to make the trip to Belfast.
“I was thrilled to be named the Motorcyclist of the Year - and although I was shocked to receive the famous Joey Dunlop trophy in Monaco, I was gutted not to be able to pick it up on the big night at home. I am definitely not missing the event this time – it’s the best night of the year,” said the County Antrim rider.