Derek Sheils crowned 'King of Kirkistown' as Michael Dunlop doubles up in Supersport class

Derek Sheils won the ‘King of Kirkistown’ title in Co Down on Saturday as motorcycle racing returned in Northern Ireland for the first time in 2020.

By Kyle White
Saturday, 5th September 2020, 7:25 pm
Updated Sunday, 6th September 2020, 2:25 pm
Derek Sheils (Roadhouse Macau BMW) leads Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Suzuki) and Jason Lynn (Suzuki) at Kirkistown on Saturday. Picture: Pacemaker Press.
Derek Sheils (Roadhouse Macau BMW) leads Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Suzuki) and Jason Lynn (Suzuki) at Kirkistown on Saturday. Picture: Pacemaker Press.

The Irish racing calendar has been almost wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic, but the Belfast and District Club held a successful event with strict Covid-19 measures in place, including a limit of 300 spectators.

On a cool and breezy day, Ballymoney’s Michael Dunlop made a surprise appearance at Kirkistown, winning both Supersport races on his MD Racing Yamaha R6 to secure the ‘Crown Prince of Kirkistown’ accolade.

Dunlop was also in action in the Superbike class and finished as the runner-up to Sheils in race one, who was in top form as he made a winning debut on his new Roadhouse Macau BMW.

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Michael Dunlop (MD Racing Yamaha) won both Supersport races at Kiristown in Co Down.

Sheils sat behind race leader Dunlop until a lap from the end and made his move for the lead, holding on to win by 0.4s.

Jason Lynn caught the eye with a fine ride to third on the ex-John Burrows Suzuki GSX-R1000 as he made a successful step up to the Superbike class after winning the Ulster Supersport title in 2019.

The second Superbike race was halted by a red flag stoppage on lap six when pole man Lynn was leading from Sheils and Dunlop.

A result was declared, giving Lynn victory, but Sheils claimed the overall ‘King of Kirkistown’ spoils on points following his victory in the opening race.

Nineteen-time Isle of Man TT winner Dunlop beat Joseph Loughlin in the first Supersport race by over four seconds to put down a marker in the class.

Loughlin closed the deficit in race two, but Dunlop still came out on top by 2.3s.

Saturday’s short circuit meeting at Kirkistown is likely to be the only race of the year with the Mid Antrim Club’s event in October cancelled, while the Sunflower Trophy races were called off earlier this year due to the coronavirus impact.

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