Meath’s Alan Bonner carried his excellent form from the Isle of Man TT into Sunday’s Carole Nash Kells Road Races.
The Irish national meeting, held in association with Road Racing Ireland Magazine at the Crossakielcircuit in Co Meath, returned to the calendar last year following a two-year absence and it was local star Bonner who clinched a brilliant big bike double.
Bonner excelled at the TT on only his second appearance at the legendary road race, taking 16th and 15th place finishes in the RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior races respectively on the Peoplesbike.com Kawasaki.
And the Stamullen rider built on those results at Kells, sealing victory in the Open Superbike race from Mullingar’s Derek McGee on the Wilson Craig Honda, with Alan Kenny completing the podium places in third and Waterford rider Brian McCormack fourth on the TAG Racing Honda Fireblade.
Bonner also had the upper hand in the feature Carole Nash Grand Final, again taking the win on his Kawasaki ZX-10R to complete a double with McGee having to settle for the runner-up spot once more.
McCormack secured the final place on the podium ahead of Kenny in the big race of the day.
William Dunlop made his racing return on the Chris Dowd/Ivan Curran Racing Caffrey Yamaha R6 for the first time since a crash at the Isle of Man TT saw him miss the majority of the event after only one race.
Dunlop had finished fifth in the RST Superbike event on the Tyco BMW but suffered a broken rib and bruising a day later when he came off at Laurel Bank during a practice lap on the S1000RR Superstock machine.
The 29-year-old was a comfortable winner of the Supersport 600 race at Kells – the first event on the programme – coming home with four-and-a-half seconds in hand over Seamus Elliott.
Magherafelt’s Paul Jordan caught the eye with a brilliant ride to third place to take his position on the podium alongside Dunlop and Elliott.
Cullybackey’s Sam Wilson came through for fourth ahead of a disappointed McGee, who left himself with plenty of work to do after dropping to eighth place on the first lap.
John Walsh from Kilkenny completed the top six.
McGee, who finished 11th in the Lightweight TT, celebrated victory in the Supertwins race on the Wogan Performance Kawasaki as he took the win by almost four seconds from Cheshire’s Connor Behan on the Emerald Kawasaki and Czech rider Michal Dokoupil.
Kevin Fitzpatrick won the Senior Support race from Timmy Elwood, while the Moto3 (125GP) victory went to Adam McLean from Paul Robinson, with Sean O’Neill finishing in third position. The Kells meeting sets the tone for a busy summer of Irish road races, with the popular Skerries 100 up next in north Co Dublin on July 4 followed by Walderstown in Co Westmeath on July 12.