Marshall Neill was denied a double at the Temple Club’s Irish Superbike meeting at Bishopscourt on Saturday following a last lap battle with Cody Nally in race two.
Portadown man Neill won the first ISB race in Co Down with a second and a half to spare over Meath’s Philip McNally with David Haire third, but the experienced British championship rider had to settle for second best in race two after a fierce battle with Nally.
The pair were neck and neck on the final lap but Nally managed to get better drive out of the last corner to cross the line first, taking victory by a mere 0.77s with Lisburn’s Haire again claiming the final place on the podium on the DHR/B&W Racing Kawasaki.
Neill, who was riding the Ryan McGill Joinery Kawasaki, said: “It was a good race but Cody just got the better run at the last corner and snatched it at the line. I can’t be too disappointed with a first and second and I’m looking ahead to the first round of the Adelaide Masters now this weekend at Mondello Park.
“The track was a bit patchy in places for that second race and I had a slick on the back while Cody had an intermediate,” he added. “We both had wet fronts fitted and it turned out that they weren’t bad choices in the end and it made for a competitive race.”
Neill intends to compete in the opening rounds of the National Superstock 1000 Championship this year starting at Brands Hatch on Easter Monday.
Meanwhile, Ryan Farquhar made his return to racing at Bishopscourt after a short retirement from the sport.
Farquhar’s SGS International KMR Kawasaki team filled the top three places in both Supertwin races, with Jeremy McWilliams earning a double.
Farquhar took second in race one with Scotsman Keith Amor – also making a racing return this year – in third place.
In the second race, Farquhar was holding the lead from McWilliams on the last lap until he almost went down after losing the front of his Kawasaki ER6.
McWilliams went on to win, with Amor inheriting second place as Farquhar took to the grass before recovering to seal third.
“I was really pleased the way it all worked out,” said Farquhar. “I gave Jeremy a race and when you’re doing that against him at a short circuit you can’t complain. I felt good out there and the bike was working really well – the three old men showed them the way around!”
The first Supersport 600 race was won by Haire, who had almost eight seconds in hand over Mark Hanna in second, while Mark Conlin claimed third ahead of Christian Elkin. Keith Amor was seventh.
Haire completed a 600cc double, but was made to work much harder in the second race, clinging on to take the win with 0.056s to spare over Conlin. Carl Phillips was third on the Sandown Racing Yamaha.
Christian Elkin was a double winner in the Moto3 (125GP) races, while Jay McCrum and Aaron Wright had a win apiece in the Production 125/250 and Moto3 newcomers class.