Cookstown 100: Derek Sheils steals the show with Superbike win
Dublin rider Derek Sheils stole the show at the KDM Hire Cookstown 100 with a dominant Superbike double on John Burrows’ Suzuki.
The 2016 Irish Superbike champion got off the mark at the Tandragee 100 last weekend and Sheils again proved to be the man of the moment at the County Tyrone meeting.
He opened his account in the first Superbike race, leading home Derek McGee (Kawasaki) by two-and-a-half seconds with the final rostrum spot going to William Dunlop from Ballymoney ( Temple Golf Club Yamaha).
Michael Sweeney from Skerries was next on his BMW ahead of Honda rider Guy Martin, who finished sixth on corrected time after starting from the second group.
The feature Cookstown 100 Superbike race later in the day took top billing and it was Sheils who quickly seized control.
Mullingar rider McGee attempted to cling on to the rear of Sheils’ Suzuki, but as the race wore on, the Suzuki rider began to pull away.
Sheils completed a stunning brace, winning by 11 seconds in the end from McGee, while Sweeney pipped William Dunlop for third.
The Supersport 600 race saw a maiden win in the class for Tobermore’s Adam McLean.
The young gun, who is set to make his Isle of Man TT debut this year, led throughout on his MSS Kawasaki, although McGee was never far behind in second place.
English rider James Cowton, who crashed unhurt in the first Superbike race, clinched third for Cookstown team McAdoo Racing on his Kawasaki, with Friday’s 600cc race winner William Dunlop in fourth.
Sheils (Cookstown B.E. Racing Honda), Paul Jordan (Kawasaki) and Sweeney were the top seven, with Guy Martin finishing eighth on Wilson Craig’s Honda.
Yorkshireman Cowton claimed a popular win for the McAdoo team at their home race in the Supertwins event, narrowly seeing off long-time leader McGee on the final lap. Adam McLean sealed the last place on the podium.
Sam Wilson won the Moto3/125cc race from Paul Robinson, with Nigel Moore the first 125cc rider over the line in fourth behind Justin Waring.
The focus now switches to the first international road race of the year at the North West 200, which takes place from May 9-13.