Belfast Telegraph

McGee soars on but injured McLean ruled out of NW200


Adam McLean
Adam McLean
Front men: Tandragee feature race winner, Derek McGee (centre) with runner-up Derek Sheils (left) and third placed Michael Sweeney

By James Robinson

Adam McLean's frightening crash took some of the shine off Saturday's Around A Pound Tandragee 100, which was dominated by form man Derek McGee.

Tobermore rider McLean's season has been turned upside down after he sustained arm, shoulder and pelvic injuries following an incident in the Supertwin race.

The 22-year-old was dicing with McGee for the lead when he came off on the final lap.

There was a lengthy delay as the McAdoo Racing rider was treated at the scene before he was transported to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

Fortunately, despite concerns for his wellbeing, McLean was later said to be in 'really good spirits' in an update provided by the Cookstown-based McAdoo team. However, he looks certain to miss the North West 200, which commences with opening practice on the North coast next Tuesday.

On a chilly but dry and sunny day in Co. Armagh, man of the meeting McGee powered to four wins from five starts.

Fans' favourite Guy Martin was also in action after making a surprise appearance, delighting his followers by taking a win in the 1000cc Classic race on his home-built 750 BSA.

McGee set the ball rolling with a narrow victory over rising star McLean in the Supersport race.

They pulled clear of the chasing pack and swapped places on their Kawasaki machines, but it was McGee who just had a little extra in reserve on the final lap as he held on by three-tenths-of-a-second.

A delighted McGee said: "It was a great race to be involved in and Adam was hard work. I got the lead off the start and then he came past, so I thought I'd sit there and follow him for a while to see where he was strong and where I had an advantage.

"I waited until two laps to go and then I got ahead and just protected all my lines into the last corner."

McGee's second win of the day came in the Supertwin race, when he was confirmed as the winner on Ryan Farquhar's KMR Kawasaki after the result was declared in the wake of McLean's crash. Michael Sweeney from Skerries was five seconds back in third followed by Ballymena's Neil Kernohan.

McGee bagged a hat-trick as he ran away with the Moto3/125GP race, taking the chequered flag with 51 seconds in hand over Gary Dunlop.

He completed his four-timer in the Tandragee 100 Grand Final following an epic duel with Sheils.

No quarter was given as both riders put on a fantastic display for the thousands of fans in attendance, but it was McGee who turned the tables on Sheils after the big Dubliner had won the opening Superbike race by just under half-a-second on his Suzuki.

After taking turns at the front, McGee pushed ahead on his NJ Doyne Kawasaki when it mattered and he kept his nose in front until the line, pipping Burrows Racing rider Sheils by 0.195 seconds.

Sweeney grabbed the final podium place, less than one second back on the Martin Jones Racing BMW.

Bangor's Andy McAllister won the Senior Support race, while Kevin Baker from Co. Clare triumphed in the Junior Support event.

At Oulton Park yesterday, meanwhile, Jack Kennedy was never troubled as he led all the way to win the Dickies British Supersport race by 3.6 seconds from Alastair Seeley.

It's was Dubliner Kennedy's third straight win on the Integro Yamaha as the championship leader remains unbeaten this season. Carrick man Seeley (EHA Racing Yamaha) finished as the runner-up for the third time in a row behind Kennedy after picking off Brad Jones to claim second place.

Fermanagh's Lee Johnston was an early retirement on the Ashcourt Racing Yamaha.

Ahead of today's Feature race (3.40pm), Kennedy holds an advantage of 15 points over Seeley, who will have one eye on next week's North West 200.

In the Bennetts British Superbike class, Keith Farmer was the leading Northern Ireland rider in seventh place in qualifying on the Tyco BMW, with Silverstone race winner and joint championship leader Josh Elliott in 10th on the OMG Suzuki.

Andrew Irwin was 16th for Honda Racing ahead of David Allingham (EHA Yamaha), while Glenn Irwin is down in 24th place and has a mountain to climb today on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki.

Race one is at 1.30pm with race two due at 4.30pm.

Young prospect Scott Swann finished second in the first British Motostar race ahead of the spotlight beginning to turn towards the first major international road race of the season - the North West 200.

Belfast Telegraph


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