Cookstown 100: Derek Sheils romps to Superbike double

Derek Sheils won both Superbike races at the Cookstown 100 on the Burrows Engineering Suzuki.
Derek Sheils won both Superbike races at the Cookstown 100 on the Burrows Engineering Suzuki.
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Dominant Derek Sheils repeated his 2016 Superbike double with a sizzling performance at the KDM Hire Cookstown 100 on Saturday.

The big Dubliner won the Open Superbike race at the start of the day from fellow southern Irishman Derek McGee and Ballymoney’s William Dunlop to throw down the gauntlet.

Michael Sweeney (BMW) leads William Dunlop (Yamaha) in the Cookstown 100 feature race.

Michael Sweeney (BMW) leads William Dunlop (Yamaha) in the Cookstown 100 feature race.

The showpiece Cookstown 100 race was held over eight laps of the 2.1-mile Orritor course and once more it was pole-sitter Sheils who roared to the front as he set a hot pace on the Burrows Engineering Suzuki.

Mullingar man McGee tried to stay with him on the opening laps but a mistake saw him eventually drop back into a safe second place.

Sheils rattled off a series of fast laps to open a commanding advantage and he wrapped up a terrific double for John Burrows’ Dungannon-based team by 11 seconds from McGee.

Skerries man Michael Sweeney swooped to clinch third from William Dunlop, who had held a podium spot for much of the race on the Temple Golf Club Yamaha R1.

Behind the top three, English rider James Cowton took fifth on the McAdoo Racing Kawasaki.

Cowton had earlier won a close Supertwins race from McGee to give the Co Tyrone team a win at their home event.

Alistair Kirk was an impressive sixth on his BMW followed by Brian McCormack on the TAG Honda, while the top eight was finalised by Magherafelt’s Paul Jordan, who was making his 1000cc race debut on the Evolution Camping BMW.

Honda Racing’s Guy Martin – fifth in the first Superbike race – was a non-starter on his SP2 Superstock machine.