Belfast Telegraph

McGee proud to lift Irish title hat-trick despite injury

By Roy Harris

Derek McGee sealed the Irish Road Race Superbike series at the weekend with a third-place finish in the East Coast Open Championship race at Killalane - the final leg of a terrific treble, with the Supersport and Supertwin crowns already in the bag.

The hat-trick is all the more remarkable given the Mullingar Missile took part over the weekend unaware that he had a broken bone in his thigh.

The 31-year-old was involved in an accident during an Ulster Grand Prix Supersport race last month and was subsequently taken to hospital with a suspected hip injury.

McGee made the East Coast meeting over the weekend his comeback target, as he was well aware that a win for Derek Sheils, coupled with the Irishman's absence, would most likely see the Championship title go the way of the defending champion.

But after being passed fit on Thursday, he rode the Team McGee Kawasaki in only the Championship race on Sunday afternoon and did enough to clinch his third Irish title of an impressive season.

McGee said: "I was delighted to add the Superbike Championship to the Supersport and Supertwin titles I wrapped up at Armoy.

"It was also great to be back racing after my Ulster Grand Prix injuries and it's thanks to my team, family and loyal sponsors that we are where we are today.

"I must also give thanks to the Bandon Hyperbaric chamber for getting me back out racing again.

"Unfortunately, I received a phone call from the hospital on Monday morning to come back in as soon as I possibly could as a specialist had looked at my X-ray again and they found another break in the femur!

"It looks like I need surgery to pin and plate the bone. It's certainly disappointing news having been given the all clear on Thursday that other breaks had healed and I was fit to race.

"I had made a really fast recovery and was thrilled to get back out on my bike to race at the weekend."

A superb 2017 season also saw McGee clinch the Ulster Road Race Superbike and Supersport Championships and share the Supertwin title with James Cowton.

He also picked up two wins, a second and a fourth at Armoy to take the Man of the Meeting award.

It was in 2011 that McGee burst onto the road race scene with double Senior Support race success during his home race at Walderstown. He followed those victories with a string of triumphs at the likes of Kells, Athea, Armoy, Munster and Killalane, having never raced on the roads before.

Promoted to the national ranks, McGee clinched the Irish Supersport Road Race Championship in 2014 and the Supertwin equivalent a year later, before taking victory in the Ulster Grand Prix Supertwin race of 2015.

In all, McGee has accumulated over 30 road race victories, with his ambition being to establish himself in the top 10 at the three international meetings in the prestigious Supersport and Superbike classes.

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