Cookstown 100 results in full: McLean the main man on rain-lashed course
The opening weekend of the road racing season suffered a damp start at the weather affected 96th KDM Hire Cookstown 100, Saturday's racing eventually cancelled by Clerk of the Course Francis Everard on safety grounds following a spate of red flag incidents and rain, making conditions treacherous.
Thankfully all the fallers were 'walking wounded' as competitors battled with constantly changing conditions, ironic after the cancellation of two races on Friday evening due to low sun!
One rider, Owen Graves, was hospitalised, though X-rays revealed he had not suffered broken bones, but he did have severe bruising.
Racing that did take place was intense with victories for Michael Dunlop, Derek Sheils and Derek McGee, but pride of place must go to the local Winston McAdoo Gortreagh Printing Kawasaki Team whose riders James Cowton and Adam McLean ran 1-2 in the Supersport 'A' 4-lap race.
Cowton took the win by a second with Derek Sheils half a second back in third and Michael Dunlop on his MD Racing Honda a 10th of a second behind the Dubliner followed by McGee and William Dunlop. This race was red-flagged after the leaders had completed four laps, after Mike Norbury crashed out uninjured.
Andy McLean , was named Man of the Meeting and said: "This is bit of a surprise, brilliant, That was a difficult day for everyone, and a sensible approach was needed.
"Thankfully the Cookstown Club had that foresight to call it a day, I know it was disappointing, not only for the riders, but also for all the race fans, But, Man of the Meeting, That's super"
In the invitation Supersport race, held over from Friday night, it was a five-rider battle for the lead with, as Michael Dunlop put it, "a fair few elbows about in that race."
In the opening race of the day, Dunlop set the fastest lap of the race at 86.585mph on his seventh and final circuit to win his first race of the 2018 season by 2.869 seconds from McLean, who had his team mate Cowton less than a second behind at the chequered flag.
William Dunlop was an early retirement in this race.
McGee got his name on the winners list with a clear-cut victory in the Moto3 race in which he set a new lap record, the only one of the day, on his Joey's Bar Moto3 Honda.
Seven seconds behind came McLean on the Jack Sands Moto3 Honda with Paul Robinson third on his CB Racing Honda, and Paul Jordan making it a clean sweep of the first four places for Moto3 Honda's on his ND Racing machine.
The first 125GP Honda machine home in fifth was Joseph Loughlin who had five seconds to spare over the 125GP KTM of Austrian Christopher Eder in sixth.
Derek Sheils scored a brilliant win in the Royal Hotel Open 'A' race coming from the second group of riders on his Cookstown BE Suzuki that had had a spare engine fitted overnight after problems in qualifying.
In the rain delayed race, Dunlop, making his race debut on the Tyco BMW Motorrad Superbike, overhauled early leader Sweeney and set the fastest lap of the race at 88.431mph on his fifth and final lap and take the chequered flag first, but on corrected time Sheils, who also set his fastest speed on the final lap, took victory by five second from Dunlop with Sweeney dropping to third, three quarters of a second behind the Tyco BMW.
McGee elected to ride the B&W Kawasaki in this race and finished fourth ahead of McLean and Cowton.
The Hayes Fuel Supertwin 'A' race was restarted three times after first Michael Browne went down uninjured, then on the restart Cowton slid off and Joseph Loughlin could not avoid the fallen machine and also crashed, both soon on their feet.
Finally, Adam McLean raced to victory over two brilliant rides from circuit newcomers Daniel Mettam in second and Cookstown BE runner Davey Todd.
Cookstown 100 results in full
Open 'A': 1st D. Sheils, 2nd M. Dunlop, 3rd M. Sweeney, 4th D. McGee, 5th A. McLean, 6th J. Cowton
Open 'B': 1st P. Williams, 2nd D. Tweed, 3rd F. Dunn, 4thP. Gartland, 5th M. Ironside, 6th S. Johnson
Supersport 'A': 1st J. Cowton , 2nd A. McLean, 3rd D. Sheils, 4th M. Dunlop, 5th D. McGee, 6th W. Dunlop
Supersport 'B': 1st D. Mettam, 2nd K. Duncan, 3rd K. Fitzpatrick. 4th G. Kennedy, 5th D. Cooper, 6th D. Herbertson
Supersport Invitation: 1st M. Dunlop (right), 2nd A. McLean, 3rd J. Cowton, 4th D. Sheils, 5th M. Sweeney, 6th P. Jordan
Moto3 / 125GP: 1st D. McGee, 2nd A. McLean, 3rd P. Robinson, 4th P. Jordan, 5th J. Loughlin, 6th C. Eder
Supertwins 'A': A. McLean, 2nd D. Mettam, 3rd D. Todd, 4th T. Maxwell, 5th D. McGee, 6th D. Herbertson
Junior Support 'A': 1st B. Sheehan, 2nd J. Cassells, 3rd L. Chawke, 4th A. Haworth, 5th M. Nagle, 6th E. O'Siochru
Junior Support 'B': 1st E. Treartry, 2nd D. Cottrell, 3rd R J Woolsey, 4th F. O'Hara, 5th M. Johnson, 6th B. Flynn
Senior Support 'B': 1st T. Henry, 2nd D. Murphy, 3rd J. O'Donovan, 4th A. Boyd, 5th M. Currams, 6th N. Smith
Senior Classic: 1st R. Ford, 2nd B. Davidson, 3rd M. Govignon, 4th W. Brown, 5th B. Lyle, 6th F. Stewart
Junior Classic: 1st B. Davidson, 2nd Ed Manly, 3rd J. O'Brien, 4th N. Moore, 5th R. Ford, 6th S. Leonard