Josh Elliott narrowly missed out on a sensational Supersport treble on his racing return in the Dunlop Masters Superbike Championship at Mondello Park.
The former British Superstock 1000 champion won first time out on the AKR Thomas Bourne Racing Honda in Saturday’s opening race and completed his double in race two yesterday, claiming a comfortable victory at the Co. Kildare circuit by just under one second from Emmett O’Grady (Yamaha).
Elliott’s young team-mate, Ajay Carey from Lisburn, took the final rostrum spot.
However, Elliott was edged out in race three by Tralee man O’Grady, who made a race-winning pass on the Fermanagh rider at the final corner at the end of lap 10.
Elliott tried all he could to find a way past, but O’Grady held on to secure the win by 0.125s on the line, with championship leader Carey eight seconds further back as he claimed his third podium of the weekend after also finishing third in Saturday’s first race.
Carey, who has made the step up in class to Supersport machinery with aplomb this season, said: “I’m loving it, but there’s a lot of competition this weekend, so the more the better and I’m enjoying it.
“The Supersport machines are very fast, but the experience of riding the 300 taught me how to race hard and you have to race hard every time in this class.”
In the Superbike class, Derek Sheils missed the chance of a hat-trick on his Roadhouse Macau BMW when he was caught out by the mixed conditions in the final race of the weekend.
Sheils won Saturday’s race and followed up with a dominant victory by four seconds over Thomas O’Grady to clinch a brace, but the Wicklow man slid out of the lead unhurt in race three on a wet but drying track.
O’Grady capitalised on his Honda to secure all 25 points, while Co. Down’s Daniel Matheson got the better of Cork man Ray Casey on the last for the runner-up spot.
Meanwhile, Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia won yesterday’s MotoGP race at Assen in the Netherlands.
Championship leader Fabio Quartararo crashed out when he attempted to pass Aprilia rival Aleix Espargaro for second place. Espargaro dropped to 15th but fought his way back to finish fourth behind Marco Bezzecchi (VR46 Ducati) and Maverick Vinales (Aprilia).