Paul Jordan has last laugh after tight McLean duel at Armoy
Near neighbours Paul Jordan from Magherafelt and Adam McLean from Tobermore fought out a thrilling Supersport duel at Armoy last night with Jordan just edging the win by seven one thousandths of a second after four laps.
Already without pole man Derek McGee, who had to pull his B&W Kawasaki off the start line with a flat battery, the scheduled seven-lap First4Printing race was red flagged after just three laps, with McLean on the Gortreagh Printing Kawasaki leading the PJ Racing Yamaha by a quarter of a second, with Burrows Engineering Honda mounted Davey Todd three quarters of a second back in third and Michael Sweeney a further half second in arrears.
On the four-lap restart it was a case of deja vu, with McLean leading Jordan, Todd and Sweeney, with Christian Elkin and Graeme Kennedy completing the top six after lap one.
Less than a second covered the top four as they flashed onto their fourth and final lap but, after 3.008miles of the last lap, Jordan had got his nose in front to win by a wheel from McLean in the closest finish of the season, while Sweeney had leapfrogged Todd into third.
Elkin on the Wylie Yamaha was almost seven seconds back in fifth with Kennedy sixth.
In the opening race of the Bayview Hotel Race of Legends meeting there was a win for another Co Derry rider, Stephen McKeown from Maghera, who took his 675cc Triumph to a 2.885sec victory over local rider Tommy Henry from Armoy on the Hugh O'Kane Motors 600cc Yamaha in the Armoy Construction-Park Electric Services Senior Support race, the result taken after four laps of a scheduled seven after the red flags ended the race early.
Scottish visitor Mike Swanson from Aberdeenshire was a tenth of a second behind Henry in third, with Wayne Sheehan, Liam Chawke and Matt Donaldson completing the top six.
Earlier in the day, Derek McGee dominated qualifying, securing pole position for today's Superbike, Supersport, Supertwin and Moto3/125GP races.
McLean, Jordan and Todd split the second to fourth positions between them in Superbike and Supersport, Elkin was second fastest in Moto3, McLean, Elkin and Todd followed McGee in Supertwin.
Roads close at 10am this morning ahead of an 11-race programme, with a new name set to be added to the Bayview Hotel Race of Legends roll of honour since seven-in-a-row winner Michael Dunlop is a non-starter today.
Further afield and three-time World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea and the Kawasaki Team Green factory bike he shares with Leon Haslam and Kazuma Watanabe smashed the Suzuka eight-hour pole lap record with a 2m 05.168sec lap, taking almost a second off the 2015 record set by Yamaha Factory rider Pol Espargaro.
The top 10 will line up for a final Superpole session ahead of tomorrow's race.
Ulsterman Rea said: "It was nice to set that record, but it wasn't important to do it today, although to do it in qualifying practice is mad! It's a long lap at Suzuka with a lot of corners to make a mistake at."
A typhoon is set to hit the Suzuka area tomorrow making the Superpole lap doubtful.