Cookstown 100: Victories for Sheils and McLean at Orritor

Derek Sheils won the Open Superbike race at the Cookstown 100 on Saturday.

Derek Sheils won the Open Superbike race at the Cookstown 100 on Saturday.

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Derek Sheils set the benchmark once again as he followed up his Superbike win at Tandragee with another polished performance at the Cookstown 100 on Saturday.

Sheils qualified on pole on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki but it was Derek McGee who made the early running on his Kawasaki Superstock machine, with William Dunlop close behind on the Temple Golf Club Yamaha R1.

Supersport race winner Adam McLean leads Derek McGee and James Cowton at the Cookstown 100.

Supersport race winner Adam McLean leads Derek McGee and James Cowton at the Cookstown 100.

There was little to separate the top three on the opening laps but Sheils made his move to lead at half-distance and began to pile on the pressure.

The Dublin rider pulled a gap and soon put the outcome beyond doubt on the GSX-R1000, eventually taking his second Superbike win of 2017 by 2.5 seconds from McGee.

Dunlop claimed the final rostrum place, a few tenths of a second behind McGee, with Michael Sweeney in fourth on his MJR BMW.

Guy Martin came through to take fifth on corrected time on the Honda Racing Superstock machine, while the top six was completed by Brian McCormack on his TAG Honda.

The race was re-started over a reduced distance of five laps after James Cowton crashed on the McAdoo Kawasaki, bringing out the red flags. The Yorkshire rider escaped injury and took his place on the grid for the Supersport race.

Dunlop, who won the invitational Supersport race on Friday evening, didn’t make the best of starts on his IC Racing/Caffrey Yamaha and it was young prospect Adam McLean who hit the front on his MSS Kawasaki.

The Tobermore rider was pursued by McGee and Cowton, with Dunlop in contention in fourth.

McLean held sway throughout on the ZX-6R and McGee was unable to find a way through as the Ulster rider held on for his maiden Supersport victory at his home course.

Cowton finished third for Cookstown team McAdoo Racing with Dunlop next as 3.4 seconds covered the top four.

Superbike winner Sheils was fifth ahead of Paul Jordan, with Sweeney and Martin – who was riding the Wilson Craig Honda – the top eight.

The Supersport race was also red-flagged after an incident involving two riders, although neither was seriously injured.

In the Moto3/125GP race, Sam Wilson took the win from Paul Robinson, both riding Moto3 Honda machines.

Justin Waring finished on his Moto3 KTM ahead of Nigel Moore, who was the first 125cc rider over the line. Gary Dunlop was fifth on the Joey’s Bar Honda.

Neil Kernohan slid off in the closing stages of the race, resulting in another red flag situation.

Kernohan wasn’t badly hurt and the result was declared as the riders had completed five laps.