Ulster Superbike four-timer is precisely what I needed, insists delighted Phillips
Comeback king Carl Phillips had a smile back on his face as the Lisburn lad took Saturday's opening round of the AJ Plumbing Supplies Ulster Superbike Championship by storm.
The 25-year-old banished memories of a tumultuous 2018 as he swept to the sizzling four-timer on a chilly Spring day at the County Down circuit, winning both Superbike and Supertwin races.
"That's just what I needed," said a delighted Phillips.
"Last year was a disaster to be honest and I wasn't even going to do any racing this season, but I rode for Jason (McCaw) at the Sunflower meeting and he offered me the chance to do the Ulster Superbike Championship this year.
"I took him up on that offer and I'm glad I did, because I'm having a lot of fun on the bike and this is why we go racing."
Phillips, who lost his British Superbike ride with the Gearlink Kawasaki team last year, made the perfect start for new team JMC Racing as he edged the first Ulster Superbike race by just 0.2 seconds from Dromara man Alistair Kirk (McCurry BMW).
Road racing hot-shot Adam McLean rounded out the podium on the McAdoo Racing Kawasaki.
The race was re-started over four laps when current USBK champion Gerard Kinghan crashed out on his IFS Yamaha, escaping serious injury but ruling himself out for the remainder of the event.
Phillips followed up with another victory in race two as he completed a double on his Kawasaki, winning the seven-lap Temple 100 Cup race by 1.2 seconds from Tobermore's McLean, with Aaron Armstrong taking third on his Suzuki.
Castledawson man Nico Mawhinney, making his racing return after two seasons out through injury, finished fourth on the Team Polaris Kawasaki.
In the Supertwins class, it was that man Phillips who led his rivals a merry dance as he got to grips with the Italian Paton machine he will race on his debut at the North West 200 next month.
He won race one by more than six seconds and disappeared into the distance in the second outing, coming home with a cushion of 18 seconds over Carrickfergus prospect Ross Irwin to make it four wins from four starts.
In the Supersport class, Jason Lynn lived up to expectations as he clinched a brace on Walter Bell's Yamaha R6, seeing off Christian Elkin in the opener by 6.8 seconds and later closing out his second victory by just under two seconds from road racer Paul Jordan, who was primarily using the event to test his new 600 Yamaha.