Cookstown BE Suzuki rider Derek Sheils will start today’s two Superbike races at the 58th Around A Pound Tandragee 100 from pole position, the only rider to lap the 5.343mile circuit in under three minutes yesterday in qualifying with a lap of 2m 59.435secs, a speed of 107.931mph.
Less than a second behind the Dubliner was Mullingar’s Derek McGee on 106.743mph with Tyco BMW runner Dan Kneen reacquainting himself with the demanding circuit after a year’s absence and the final front row starter with a lap of 105.749mph.
Kneen said: “That’ll do. The track was a bit dirty, so didn’t go mad. Ended up third for our two races.”
Shaun Anderson, Michael Sweeney and William Dunlop completed the top six qualifiers.
Sheils doubled up by taking pole position for the Supersport race at 106.576mph, three quarters of a second faster than McGee with Sweeney on the front row two seconds behind the B&W Kawasaki.
Dunlop, Adam McLean, Man of the Meeting at the Cookstown 100 and Cookstown BE team newcomer Davey Todd sixth.
Boss of the Dungannon based Cookstown BE team, John Burrows, commented: “Great start by Derek taking pole for both Open and Supersport classes, while it was a brilliant effort from Davey (Todd) on his Tandragee debut to be eight fastest in the Open and sixth fastest Supersport.”
In the final qualifying session, red flagged twice, McGee set the fastest Supertwin time of 3m 07.102secs a second and a half faster than McLean with Todd taking the final front row spot half a second behind McLean.
The front row of the Moto3 race all unofficially smashed the lap record with McGee recording a 97.609mph lap two seconds faster than McLean with Paul Robinson third fastest.
On a busy weekend the third round of the British Superbike Championship takes place at Oulton Park on Monday with PBM Be Wiser Ducati pilot Glenn Irwin, fastest in a pre-event test at the Cheshire circuit, Tyco BMW duo Michael Laverty and Christian Iddon plus Gearlink Kawasaki rider Carl Phillips will all be chasing valuable championship points.
Andy Reid, Keith Farmer, Alastair Seeley and Josh Elliott chase Superstock 1000cc honours, Jack Kennedy will aim to maintain his Supersport championship lead as will Eunan McGlinchey in Junior Supersport. Also, on Monday, the second Nutt Travel Ulster MX Championship takes place at the hard-pack Seaforde, Co Down venue with the prestigious MX1 defending champion Richard Bird looking to extend his 15 point lead. Racing from 11am.
Tomorrow Graeme Irwin and Martin Barr continue chasing points in the British Motocross MX1 and MX2 championships at the Blaxhall circuit in Suffolk.
Finally, Eugene Laverty is planning to race at next weekend’s Imola World SBK round after being given the all-clear by his doctor yesterday. He will have to pass a medical at the Italian Circuit, but is confident he will be fit.