Derek Sheils is hat-trick hero at sun-kissed Skerries 100 road races

Derek Sheils (Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Suzuki) leads Michael Sweeney (MJR BMW) in the Open Superbike race at the Skerries 100. Picture: Rod Neill/Pacemaker Press.
Derek Sheils (Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Suzuki) leads Michael Sweeney (MJR BMW) in the Open Superbike race at the Skerries 100. Picture: Rod Neill/Pacemaker Press.
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Derek Sheils won the feature Grand Final Superbike race at the Country Crest Skerries 100 on Sunday to cap a magnificent hat-trick.

Sheils turned on the style to win the eight-lap finale on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Suzuki, setting a scorching pace as he gradually pulled away from Michael Sweeney (MJR BMW) in second place.

Derek Sheils (Roadhouse Macau Yamaha) leads Michael Sweeney (MJR Yamaha) in the Supersport race at the Skerries 100 on Sunday. Picture: Rod Neill/Pacemaker Press.

Derek Sheils (Roadhouse Macau Yamaha) leads Michael Sweeney (MJR Yamaha) in the Supersport race at the Skerries 100 on Sunday. Picture: Rod Neill/Pacemaker Press.

The Dublin rider had opened a lead of 1.1 seconds after three laps and Sheils soon took control at the front, stretching his advantage to almost four seconds by the end of lap six.

He wrapped up his third win of the day by 6.6 seconds over Sweeney, with Mike Browne taking third position on his 600cc Kawasaki.

Neil Kernohan (Logan Yamaha), Darryl Tweed (600 Honda) and Steven Procter completed the first six.

Earlier, Sheils raced to a quickfire double with victories in the Open and Supersport races.

Gary Dunlop (Joey's Bar Honda) leads the Moto3/125GP race at the Skerries 100. Picture: Rod Neill/Pacemaker Press.

Gary Dunlop (Joey's Bar Honda) leads the Moto3/125GP race at the Skerries 100. Picture: Rod Neill/Pacemaker Press.

The Irish Superbike Championship leader was confirmed as the winner of the Open race after a red flag incident, when England’s Forest Dunn – a double winner at Enniskillen on his 1000cc Suzuki – crashed out. Dunn was taken to hospital and suffered a broken collarbone in the incident.

The result of the race was declared on positions at the end of lap three, with Sheils earning the win by 0.4 seconds from Sweeney. James Chawke from Rathkeale was third on his 1000cc Suzuki, seven seconds back.

Sheils followed up with his first victory this season on the Roadhouse Macau Yamaha in the Supersport class.

It was only his second ever Irish road racing Supersport success after he previously won at the Cookstown 100 in 2013.

In front of a huge sun-kissed crowd in north county Dublin, it was Skerries man Sweeney who set the early pace from Sheils and Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed, with little between the trio.

The front two began to edge away from Tweed and Sheils made his move to take the lead at the half-way point of the race. Sweeney tried all he could to find a way past on a blistering final lap, but Sheils just held on to win by only 0.064 seconds.

Tweed filled the rostrum place in third on his Honda, two seconds adrift, with Michael Browne, Steven Procter and Andy Farrell the top six.

Sweeney won the Supertwins race from Farrell and Kernohan.

Sunday marked the first anniversary of the tragic death of top international road racer William Dunlop, who lost his life at the event following a crash in practice in 2018.

William’s cousin, Gary Dunlop, made it three wins on the spin on the Joey’s Bar Honda in the Moto3/125GP race,

Dunlop coasted home with 11 seconds in hand over Melissa Kennedy, who narrowly fended off Nigel Moore for the runner-up spot. Wayne Kennedy finished in fourth.

Two of the fancied frontrunners in the race, Kevin Fitzpatrick and Sam Grief, did not finish.

Lincolnshire’s Guy Martin, a surprise entry on his BSA machine, won the Senior Classic race by only 0.067 seconds from Richard Ford, while Barry Davidson sealed victory in the Junior Classic race from Ed Manly.

Vinny Brennan won the Junior Support race, which was the first event on the race programme on Sunday, while Darren Keys triumphed in the Senior Support event.