Antrim's Nikki Coates overcomes setback to capture Irish Superbike Championship
Antrim's Nikki Coates clinched the 2016 Irish Superbike Championship during the Enniskillen 100 Revival meeting at St. Angelo on Saturday, aboard the Kingsbury Packaging Kawasaki.
Jason Lynn was also crowned Irish champion in the Supersport class, but it was Robert Kennedy who took the Man of the Meeting award at the sun-baked Co. Fermanagh venue.
Newly crowned Irish Superbike champion Coates can now head to the end of season Sunflower Trophy Races on October 22 and pit his skills against friend and training partner Glenn Irwin - who will ride the factory-backed BeWiser Panigale R Ducati at Bishopscourt.
Despite his closest rival in the championship, Gerard Kinghan, conspicuous by his absence at St. Angelo, it wasn't just a formality for Coates. The 27-year-old former Spanish Moto3 rider slid off the Kingsbury Packaging Kawasaki in the opening Superbike race whilst dicing for second place with Jason Lynn.
Lynn went on to take second place in Superbike race one behind Cody Nally, with another talented youngster, Korie McGreevy, third aboard his 675 Triumph.
Nally cruised to ten and six second victories in the ISB class, setting a new Superbike record for the venue in the process. Coates did gather himself up to take the runners-up spot in race two, which afforded him the title, with Lynn third.
Championship winners aside, the most impressive performer on the day was 25-year-old Robert Kennedy. The Crumlin rider took both wins in the Irish Supersport class and a memorable 125cc 2-stroke victory on his debut. He also set a new absolute lap record in the process and added a 125cc lap record, which is a phenomenal achievement for a newcomer to the class.
Upperlands ace Jason Lynn took a brace of seconds in the Supersport class behind Kennedy to secure his Irish title, with Meath's Aaron Clifford third in race one and Nikki Coates taking the final podium position in race two. Richard Kerr was a double winner in the Moto3 class. The British championship regular also set a new lap record for the class, with evergreen Christian Elkin second on both occasions.
Joseph Loughlin was a convincing double winner in the Supertwin class, with doubles wins also going the way of Eunan McGlinchey, Andrew Brady and Scott Swann in the Junior Cup races.