William makes a real splash at Tandragee 100
Despite soaking wet conditions at Saturday's Around A Pound Tandragee 100, William Dunlop was in sparkling form as he scorched to a brace of wins over the 5.3 mile Co Armagh circuit, including his first victory on the Tyco BMW Superbike in the feature race, having earlier raced to an impressive Supersport win on the CD/IC R6 Yamaha.
Due to the conditions, only 15 riders came to the line for the five lap Tandragee 100 feature race, many opting out of racing including Friday evening's Open Race winner Ryan Farquhar.
Dunlop, who had finished less than half a second behind Farquhar on Friday, led from start to finish, imperious in the wet conditions and setting the fastest lap on lap three at 100.451mph to romp home for his maiden Tyco BMW victory, almost half a minute ahead of the Cookstown BE Suzuki of Jamie Hamilton with Derek McGee taking third on the Wilson Craig Supersport Honda.
Delighted Dunlop said afterwards: "We made a lot of changes to the bike both during and after the Cookstown 100 and although it still needs improving before the TT, the changes helped me here and I felt more comfortable. It's a real confidence boost to get this win on the big bike."
Earlier in the Supersport race, cut from six to four laps due to the conditions, Dunlop started from pole position, but at the end of the first lap it was Hamilton in front of the Ballymoney man with McGee tucked in their slipstream.
Dunlop moved ahead on lap two with McGee following him into second, but some four seconds adrift of the Yamaha.
Stamping his authority on the race, Dunlop was fastest on lap three with a speed of 96.592mph easing to an eight and a half second victory over McGee with Hamilton a further nine seconds back in third.
Sam Wilson showed terrific form on the soaking track to finish fourth with talented visitors Colin Stephenson and Billy Redmayne completing the top six.
Farquhar followed up his Friday Superbike win with a comfortable Classic race victory, riding the Winfield 500cc Paton. Paul Coward finished second and then the Dungannon man completed a treble by easily winning the Moto3/Supersport 400 and 450cc race.
Jeremy McWilliams on his Tandragee 100 debut claimed the last podium place in the Classic race, also riding one of the exotic Italian Patons for Roger Winfield and commented: "What a beautiful circuit. Despite the terrible conditions we braved the elements and the Paton is a superb bike to ride. However it would have been much better had it been dry."
Newcomer Rhys Hardistay,, a 27-year old from Abergavenny in Wales, was another who made light of the treacherous conditions with impressive performances in winning the Junior Support race and then finishing third in the depleted Supertwin field - this race won by McGee from Hamilton.
Overall, despite the weather, the organising North Armagh Club got on with the job of running races and there were some remarkable performances, notably from Dunlop, Farquhar and the Cookstown BE Team with five podiums, Jamie Hamilton taking two seconds and two thirds while Michael Sweeney finished third for the team in the 250GP race won by Neil Kernohan.
Meanwhile at Desertmartin, the second round of the British Quadcross Championship saw 27-year old Yorkshire rider Paul Holmes claim overall victory from the local trio of Justin Reid, Dean Colhoun and David Cowan after three tremendous races.
Holmes won the middle of the three races and finished second in the other two behind winners Colhoun and Reid.
The latter finished fourth in the first two legs before showing Holmes the way home in race three.