Wait is over as Kinghan storms to double Superbike joy
Randalstown plasterer Gerard Kinghan added his name to an illustrious list of past winners of the Enkalon Trophy by winning both Superbike races at Bishopscourt on Saturday and also claiming maximum points in the opening round of the all-new AJ Plumbing Ulster Superbike series.
In the 41st running of the Enkalon race at a bitterly cold Co Down circuit Kinghan piloted his Kawasaki to a 4.73 second victory over defending Irish champion Charles Stuart on his Parker Car Transport Yamaha in the opening nine-lap encounter and set the fastest lap of the day at 95.366mph
Adam McLean, making his debut on Winston McAdoo's Kawasaki, was a superb third, fractionally ahead of Alistair Kirk and Luke Johnston, with a second splitting this trio as they flashed past the chequered flag.
In the second race 32-year-old Kinghan set the fastest lap of the race with 95.237mph as he came home one and a half seconds clear of Stuart, with Johnston taking the final step on the rostrum almost six seconds behind Stuart with Kirk in fourth..
Kinghan said: "I had been second twice in the Enkalon Trophy pipped by Cameron Donald and Marshall Neill, so it was my time and I'm over the moon.
"Once I got into the lead in both races I kept checking my pit board to maintain my advantage. I had a test at Kirkistown on Friday and knew I felt good and the bike was working well.
"In race one I got past Charles (Stuart) on lap one and kept my head down to the chequered flag. In race two it was much colder and I sat behind Charles for few laps before making my move to the front."
He added: "It's a good start to the season and I'm off to a good start in the new Ulster Championship. I actually led the championship one year by 40 points, but went on holiday and ended up fourth, I think, so I'll try and stick with it this year."
Korie McGreevey (Triumph) came out on top of the eight-lap Supersport race, but it was close as he just edged Jason Lynn (Yamaha) by less than half a machine length. Kia McGreevy (Honda), younger brother of Korie, came home in third, a quarter of a second ahead of Christian Elkin, who in turn was a quarter of a second clear of Joseph Loughlin at the flag.
The second Supersport race was started twice after incidents on the opening laps and with temperatures dropping the race was wisely abandoned.
Loughlin, from Castleblaney - a double Irish road race champion last year - won both Supertwin races yesterday, the first by a third of a second from Sean O'Neill. However, his victory in race two was more comfortable - seven and a half seconds clear of Marty Lennon.
Paul Robinson won both Moto3 races, Jonny Hanna and Kevin Lavery shared the Production twin events, Johnny Irwin won both Pre-Injection races and Darryl Tweed was the double winner of the Lightweight Supersport races.
The action continues today at Kirkistown with the Belfast and District Club traditional Easter Monday meeting where Kinghan will look to continue his fine start to the 2018 season, while Davey Todd is expected to be on the grid on his Cookstown BE machinery, getting miles under his belt for the up and coming road racing season.