The Irish National road racing season concludes tomorrow with the Country Crest Killalane meeting near Dublin, where William Dunlop is aiming to secure the Superbike title for the first time.
Dunlop hopes to sew up the championship after securing the Supersport crown earlier this season at Armoy following an unbeaten run on the Chris Dowd/Ivan Curran Yamaha R6 at the National meetings.
The 30-year-old has never managed to lift the Superbike title and heads into tomorrow’s decider with a 10-point advantage over Dublin man Derek Sheils, who won both races on the BikeBits NI Kawasaki last time out at Faugheen.
Sheils also bagged a double at Skerries and a win at Walderstown to step up his challenge for Superbike honours and an intriguing finale to the real road racing season is in prospect.
Derek McGee from Mullingar, plus John Walsh and Seamus Elliott are also among the entries, while Michael Dunlop has been a regular at the event over the years and could turn up to defend his Grand Final title from 2014.
Practice takes place today, with roads closed tomorrow for racing from 8am.
Meanwhile, Horwich rider Malachi-Mitchell Thomas made up for the disappointment of missing out on victory in the Junior Manx Grand Prix by winning the Senior race yesterday.
The 19-year-old produced a sensational performance, breaking Alan Jackson’s outright lap record and Seamus Greene’s race record which have both stood since 2005.
Isle of Man rider Billy Redmayne, who triumphed in the Junior race by 1.8 seconds, had been trailing Mitchell-Thomas by only two seconds on the Martin Bullock Motorsport Honda as the pair began their final lap, but his challenge was ended after he incurred a 30-second penalty for an infringement at the Creg-Ny-Baa on the previous lap.
Redmayne fought his way back up to second place but was reported as a retirement at Ballaugh.
Rob Hodson, who won the Supertwins race earlier in the day, finished second on the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki ahead of Ramsey’s Andrew Dudgeon (Suzuki).
Skerries man Andy Farrell had been in fifth place until he came off at the Creg-Ny-Baa and was taken by airmed to Nobles Hospital with a shoulder injury.
Ballymena’s Dennis Booth finished in tenth place with David Lumsden from Skerries crossing the line in 14th.
It was a disappointing day for Farrell, who had been running in second place in the Supertwins race when he was forced out at Quarterbridge with a lost fuel cap.
Hodson took the honours, with Dudgeon promoted to second after Farrell’s misfortune and the final place on the podium going to Nick Jefferies, who won the 1993 Formula 1 TT.
Guildford’s Mark Purslow won the Lightweight race on his 400cc Honda from Dan Hobson and Alex Sinclair.
o Josh Elliott topped the opening qualifying session at Oulton Park on the Morello Kawasaki yesterday in the National Superstock 1000 class.
Elliott is locked in battle for the title with fellow Ulsterman Alastair Seeley, who was fourth fastest on the Tyco BMW, 0.420 seconds down on Elliott.
In the Supersport class, Andy Reid was third quickest in FP2 on the TTC Yamaha with Gearlink Kawasaki’s Glenn Irwin sixth on the time sheets.
American John Hopkins headed the British Superbike times (Ducati) followed by Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes and Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne on the PBM Kawasaki.
Tyco BMW’s Michael Laverty was seventh with team-mate Tommy Bridewell in 11th.
Race one takes place today on the triple-header weekend.