Marshall Neill was untouchable as the Portadown rider dominated the penultimate round of the Adelaide Masters Series at Mondello Park over the weekend.
Neill opened his account on Saturday with victory in the first Superbike race by two tenths of a second from Brian McCormack and maintained his terrific run of recent form on Sunday, winning both Masters Superbike races and the Grand Final to complete a blistering four-timer at the Co Kildare venue.
Waterford’s McCormack made the early running in the big money Grand Final on his Honda Fireblade, but Neill soon took up the running and began to open a gap on the Ryan McGill Joinery Kawasaki Superstock machine.
However, Cody Nally was on a charge and the Athlone rider relentlessly hunted down Neill, closing on to his rear wheel with four laps remaining.
Veteran racer Neill, though, had more in reserve and dug deep on the last few laps to open a slight lead again, holding off Nally to win by half a second after 12 laps.
McCormack was a lonely third, with Carl Phillips finishing fourth on the Sandown Racing Yamaha Supersport machine.
A delighted Neill - a hat-trick winner at Bishopscourt in the previous round - dedicated his treble to his daughter, who was celebrating her third birthday at home.
“My wee girl is three today and I should really be at home at her birthday party, but I’m here racing instead so I’d like to wish her a happy birthday,” he said.
“Brian [McCormack] did three races on the same tyres and maybe if he had a new set of tyres on it would’ve been a different story.
“I’m happy and thanks to everyone for their support. It’s great to see such a good crowd of people here today as well.”
Runner-up Nally had no answer to the pace of Neill and survived a bit of a moment on the penultimate lap when the rear of his Kawasaki let go as he attempted to get closer to the leader.
“I did a 54.1s lap and that’s nearly as good as I did last year, so I’m happy to be getting back to where I was,” Nally said.
“It was a bit slippery out there and the bike was loose, but I’m sure it was good to watch.”
McCormack, who claimed the final rostrum place, was struggling for grip after running the same set of tyres for three races and in the end was forced to settle for third rather than risk a costly crash.
“I tried to lead from the start but Marshall and Cody were on it today and I just didn’t have it,” he said.
“I kept trying to get back to them but I was losing the front and the back and I thought it’d be more expensive if I crashed; it was a good race and these lads are on top of their game. Marshall is as old as the hills but he’s fast.”
Peter Moloney and Jason Lynn completed the top six.
In Sunday’s first Superbike race, Neill won narrowly by 0.158 seconds form Nally, with McCormack again third ahead of Damien Byrne.
The order remained the same in race two, with Neill taking the flag with 0.453 seconds to spare over Nally and McCormack six and a half seconds down in third.
The Supersport races produced three different winners, with Jason Lynn victorious on Saturday by a tenth of a second over Jamie Patterson.
On Sundau, Connor Parkhill won the first Supersport race by 0.8 seconds from Phillips, with Lynn third ahead of Robert English, while the final race went to Patterson by 0.2 seconds from English.
Lynn, Phillips, Kevin Keyes and Paraic Dooley were the top six.
The final round of the Adelaide Masters Series takes place at Mondello Park on October 4/5.