Danny Buchan retains Sunflower trophy with dominant hat-trick

Danny Buchan in action at the Sunflower Trophy meeting.
Danny Buchan in action at the Sunflower Trophy meeting.

Hat-trick hero Danny Buchan retained the coveted Sunflower Trophy with a dominant performance at Bishopscourt in Co Down on Saturday.

The British Superbike star clinched the prized silverware on his debut at the event in 2014 and followed up with another classy victory on the MSS Performance Kawasaki.

A mistake on the opening lap allowed Tyco BMW’s Alastair Seeley into the lead, but Buchan quickly hit back to move to the front once more and gradually pulled away to open a cushion over the chasing pack.

British Superstock 1000 Championship runner-up Seeley held on for second place, narrowly keeping the hard-charging Keith Farmer at bay, who filled the podium places on the Morello Kawasaki.

Nico Mawhinney finished a fine fourth on the Northern Escalators Kawasaki followed by the British Supersport Gearlink Kawasaki machines of Ben Wilson and Glenn Irwin.

Ballinamallard’s Josh Elliott, who won the British Superstock 1000 title on the Morello Kawasaki, and David Haire (Sliders UK Ducati) were the top eight.

Huge crowds flocked to the final Irish short circuit meeting of the year, which was held in pleasant late autumn sunshine after showers in the morning.

Buchan was also victorious in the Irish Superbike races, taking the opening win from Farmer, who passed Seeley for second place on the final lap.

In race two, he swept to victory from Wilson and set a new lap record for the course at 99.438mph, breaking Ian Lowry’s previous best from 2010.

Farmer finished third ahead of Seeley, with Elliott and Mawhinney the first six.

Glenn Irwin notched a double in the Supersport class, beating team-mate Wilson and Seeley in race one.

Irwin romped to victory by three seconds in race two, with Wilson again second and Andrew Irwin an excellent third ahead of Seeley, who was riding the TAS Racing Suzuki.

Young gun Irwin made the most of his chance to replace Luke Hedger in the Gearlink Kawasaki team at Bishopscourt, who was ruled out of the event with arm pump problems.