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Farquhar fury at having to protest Kneen's triumph at Tandragee 100

By Paul Lindsay

Published 25/04/2016

Derek Shields leads Dan Kneen in the contested Open class race at the Tandragee 100
Derek Shields leads Dan Kneen in the contested Open class race at the Tandragee 100

A double winner in 2014, Manxman Dan Kneen will have to wait on the outcome of a Motor Cycle Union of Ireland judicial decision to see if he has been able to repeat the feat during Saturday's 56th running of the Around-A-Pound Tandragee 100.

Riding for Mar-Train Racing on their Yamaha UK supported R1 Superbike, the 28-year-old took both the Open class and Superbike race wins. But following an appeal over an alleged jumped start in the Open class, for now Kneen will have to settle for the Superbike triumph.

Ryan Farquhar was not comfortable with his protest, but explained that it should have been taken out of his hands.

"In my eyes both Dan Kneen and Derek (Sheils) clearly jumped the start, but it should not have been left to me to protest," said the Dungannon man.

"The stewards will have seen that it was a jump start, and instead of making a decision themselves, here I am involved in controversy that I don't need. But rules are rules."

The feature Superbike race was re-started over five laps following a red flag incident. But once off the line, Kneen made the race his own - giving owner Tim Martin something to smile about with a six-second victory.

Cookstown B.E Racing's Derek Sheils and Malachi Mitchell-Thomas were second and third respectively, with the latter now leading the Irish Championship by a solitary point over his Dublin based team-mate.

Kneen, now third in the Irish Championship standings, said: "Before the red flags I was just following the boys in front and the pace was steady. But when the re-start was cut to five laps, we were able to check out with no major problems. The boys did a terrific job and I'm now looking ahead with optimism."

The Open race protest from Farquhar could prevent another double, but for Kneen and Mar-Train Racing, Tandragee was more about perfecting the set-up for the North West 200 and the Isle of Man TT.

"We grabbed second in the Supersport race behind William (Dunlop), and maybe could have won but got caught up with back-markers," said Kneen.

Farquhar took a new lap record en route to victory in the Supertwin class after a battle with Mitchell-Thomas, who held the lead on the final lap but said a misfire on his Cookstown B.E Racing ER6 cost him the win.

Farquhar also took second in the 400cc class after a scrap with Czech rider Michal Dokoupil, which was enough to give the Dungannon ace the Moto450 victory and yet another lap record.

William Dunlop was the Supersport winner ahead of Kneen and Mitchell-Thomas, with Sam Wilson taking the 125GP honours aboard Gary Dunlop's, Joey's Bar Supporters' Club Honda. Gary was sixth on his Tandragee 100 debut behind JBSC team-mate Derek McGhee.

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