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Flying Sheils puts wheels in motion in chase for podium spot

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Out in front: Derek Sheils sets the pace yesterday ahead of today’s Cookstown 100 races

Out in front: Derek Sheils sets the pace yesterday ahead of today’s Cookstown 100 races

Racing green: William Dunlop speeds along the roads around Cookstown during qualifying for the Cookstown 100

Racing green: William Dunlop speeds along the roads around Cookstown during qualifying for the Cookstown 100

Out in front: Derek Sheils sets the pace yesterday ahead of today’s Cookstown 100 races

Cookstown B.E Racing's Derek Sheils set the fastest Superbike time during qualifying for the KDM Hire Cookstown 100, while local man Paul Jordan is on pole position in the Supersport class.

The Magherafelt rider, who is the current Ulster and Irish 125cc champion, is hoping he can make the middleweight podium today on his BW Racing/Site Sealants 600 Honda.

"I'm more than happy with how qualifying went, so I'm now looking forward to Saturday's races," said Shiels.

Jordan has also captured a front row in the Moto3 (125GP) qualifying, taking second place behind Adam McLean with a similar front row qualifying behind Michael Dokoupil in the Supertwin class, with Malachi Mitchell Thomas third.

With almost a second in hand, Sheils leads an all southern centre front row, with NW Racings BMW Mounted Derek McGee and MJR Racings Michael Sweeney on his Kawasaki.

Having his first road race outing since Macau last year, Tramore's Brian McCormack on the TAG/VTL Honda is fourth just ahead of William Dunlop on the MSS/CD Racing Kawasaki.

Competing the top six is exciting newcomer Mitchell Thomas on the second of the Cookstown B.E.Racing Suzukis.

James Chawke on the McKinstry racing Kawasaki heads the Junior Support class from Brad Vicars. Third is Czech visitor Veronika Hancokvy with Cork rider Paul Hurley in fourth.

In the senior support class John Horgan is on pole from Michael Weldon and last year's 400 support champion Brian Coomey. Welsh newcomer Paul Williams occupies fourth on the grid ahead of William Hara and Gary O'Brien.

Barry Davison topped both the 350 and 500 Classic practices on the Team Gimbert and Dempster Hondas. Mark Johnson lines up in second, four seconds adrift with newcomer George Stinson taking third in the 350 class.

Roads close today at 10am with a full 15-race programme scheduled.

In the World Superbike Championship, Ballyclare's Jonathan Rea was third fastest after the first day of qualifying at Imola during round five yesterday.

Rea completed a long run and will now make some small adjustments before Superpole today, which will be followed shortly afterwards by the first race of the weekend.

Rea said: "We did a long run on Friday and we are working step-by-step this weekend, not making too many massive changes."

The World Superbike Superpole session takes place at 9.30am with race one at 12pm.

Belfast Telegraph