Wilson Craig Honda’s Jamie Hamilton feels back to his old self after the Ballyclare rider bagged a fantastic four-timer at Saturday’s Bush Road Races.
Hamilton has struggled to find the winning formula this season, but the reigning Irish Supersport and Supertwin champion turned on the style at the 3.3-mile Co Tyrone circuit to win the Open, Grand Final, Supersport and Supertwin races in record-breaking fashion.
The 23-year-old, who qualified on pole position on Craig’s Superstock Honda, controlled the Open race to win by 23 seconds from Manxman Dan Kneen, who was making his Bush debut on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki, with third place going to Skerries rider Michael Sweeney.
Prior to the Bush meeting, Kneen had won five out of a possible six Superbike races at Cookstown, Tandragee and Kells, but this time the Braddan man had no answer to Hamilton, although he made the Ulster rider work hard for a narrow win in the Grand Final by 0.162s with Saintfield’s Davy Morgan taking the final rostrum place after Sweeney retired on the penultimate lap.
Hamilton also set a new lap record at 90.858mph on his way to victory.
The former top Isle of Man TT newcomer cruised to dominant wins in the Supersport and Supertwin races by more than 20 seconds to stamp his authority on the event, setting two more lap records at 89.353mph and 85.612mph respectively.
“In the Grand Final I could always see that I had around half a second over Dan and I had the feeling that he was holding on – I didn’t think he’d have been able to make a move anywhere, unless maybe a really heavy braking move at the last corner,” Hamilton said.
“I felt really confident on the bike and I felt stable; everything seemed to be under control and I didn’t do anything rash – that’s how you want to be winning races. My back tyre was starting to go off in the Grand Final and if there had been many more laps then I’d have struggled to keep riding at that same pace.
“Whenever I look at the form I was showing last week on the 600 at Kells, I must be starting to gel with the bike and the track at Bush is more technical, so it wasn’t a big surprise that I managed to win,” he added.
“When the red flag went out the first time [following a crash involving Mark Hanna] Dan was right on my tail, so it made me think he’d be close, but when they re-ran it later in the day I didn’t expect to get away like I did.”
Hamilton was unbeatable in the Supertwin class at the national races in 2013 as he stormed to the Irish title, but he had to wait until the weekend to return to the top step in the class once more, easing to victory by 21.863s over newcomer Connor Behan on the KMR/SGS International Kawasaki, with Kneen finishing third.
In the Supersport race – held at the end of the day after Mark Hanna crashed in the original race – Hamilton’s winning margin was 22.524s over Kneen, with Sweeney 46.8 seconds down on the winner in third.
Nigel Moore won on his home patch in the 125cc race from Sam Dunlop and Paul Jordan, while Neil Kernohan and William Hara were the respective winners of the Senior and Junior Support races.
Sweeney won the 250cc race from Elliott.