Belfast Telegraph

Derek McGee to lift maiden Geoff Duke Trophy after fine 2018

Derek McGee
Derek McGee

By Roy Harris

Mullingar rider Derek McGee will collect the Geoff Duke Trophy for the first time - relegating winner for the last two seasons Dean Harrison into second place - after a total of 21 events which counted towards the 2018 Duke Road Race Rankings Championship.

In the series that commenced at the Cookstown 100 back in April and concluded with the Macau Grand Prix in November, a mere 17 points separated the pair with Adam McLean third.

McGee had a terrific run of 14 victories mid-season when he won five national races at the inaugural Enniskillen event and at Faugheen, while adding another four at Walderstown on his way to clinching three Irish Road Race Championships in the Superbike, Supersport and Supertwin classes.

On the international scene, McGee scored his first ever TT podium when he finished second behind Michael Dunlop in the Lightweight TT on Ryan Farquhar's KMR Kawasaki.

Harrison, of course, missed out on a probable haul of points with the loss of four race meetings at Oliver's Mount, Scarborough where he had been dominant in recent years, but take nothing away from McGee.

Other Irish riders inside the top 10 in the Duke series were Michael Sweeney in fourth position, Michael Dunlop seventh, Barry Davidson eighth and Lee Johnston 10th, while the best newcomer was Limerick rider Liam Chawke, who finished runner-up in both the Junior and Senior Irish Road Race Support Championships.

Meanwhile, the Mid Antrim 150 Club are relaunching the Donny Robinson Memorial Trophy that was originally created by the Michelin Athletic Club in memory of their work colleague, who tragically lost his life at the North West 200 in 1999.

The Mid Antrim 150 Club are the custodians of this trophy, which will be presented to their committee's choice of Young Rider of the Year (U25) along with a cheque for £500 on Saturday, February 2 at a function in Ballymena Rugby Club, Eaton Park.

First awarded in 2000 to Michael Laverty, the list of previous winners makes interesting reading - 2001 William Dunlop, 2002 Eugene Laverty, 2003 Jonathan Rea, 2004 Nigel Percy, 2005 Michael Dunlop, 2006 Nikki Coates, 2007 Stuart Elwood, the trophy was not awarded in 2008, 2009 Robert English and the last time the trophy was presented was in 2010 to Mark Hanna.

So, who will be the new name on the trophy? Eunan McGlinchey, the British Junior Supersport champion, could well be the favourite.

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