Belfast Telegraph

Speed king Sheils lands super hat-trick for Cookstown team

 

By Roy Harris

Derek Sheils commanded the 'big bike' races during Saturday's AON Bikecare Skerries 100, racing to a treble on the Cookstown BE Suzuki of John Burrows.

Dubliner Sheils scored comprehensive victories in the Grand Final, Open championship and Open non-championship races, his margins of victory 10 seconds, 17 seconds and 22 seconds respectively and, without pressure, came within half a second of Michael Dunlop's outright lap record for the 2.92 mile circuit just north of Dublin.

However Sheils had to settle for second in a sensational three-way Supersport battle with Derek McGee and Michael Sweeney that went right to the wire.

McGee led for six of the seven laps with fractions of seconds separating the Mullingar man from Sheils and Sweeney. On the final lap Sheils made a move to the front, but McGee was having none of it and on the final run to the chequered flag he got the run from the chicane to nip past and win by a hairsbreadth (0.012secs) from Sheils with Sweeney half a second back in third.

This was the first of three wins for McGee as he raced to victory in the 125/Moto3 race from Gary Dunlop and Nigel Moore then, after a great battle with Sweeney, took the Supertwin race by a 10th of a second from Skerries resident Sweeney with Paul Jordan seven seconds back in third. Sheils actually led this particular race before being forced to retire.

McGee and Sweeney followed Sheils home in the Open championship and Grand Final, a bike length separating them in both events.

However in the Open non-championship race, McGee was a non-starter leaving Sweeney to finish second with Jordan some four seconds back in third.

There was an impressive road race debut for 22-year old Middlesbrough rider Davey Todd, a former schoolboy motocross multi champion and British Supermoto championship contender. He only made his tarmac race debut in 2015 and took the Thundersport GB 600cc Superstock championship and finished second in the Thundersport Elite 600cc championship.

He raced at Skerries under the Harry Corbett Longshot Racing banner on a Supersport Kawasaki and ended the day with three fourths and a fifth on the day - not a bad debut.

Castleblaney rider Joe Loughlin was a double winner taking the Junior Support race emphatically by 16 seconds, but things were much closer in the Senior Support race, just 1.7 seconds ahead of David Howard.

Gracehill rider Neill Kernohan was the 250GP winner and Darryl Tweed was the winner of the Lightweight Support event.

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