Retro Rewind: Guy Martin double as Michael Dunlop debuts new Milwaukee Yamaha at 2015 Cookstown 100
Instead, the country roads around the Orritor course are unusually quiet as the UK remains in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Cookstown organisers have tentatively suggested a new date of September 11/12 to run the event, but the liklihood of any road racing going ahead in 2020 seems doubtful at best.
For now, we take a look back at the Cookstown 100 in 2015 as part of our series of road racing features from the archives, when Michael Dunlop arrived at the event with his new Milwaukee Yamaha R1 to take on old rival Guy Martin.
Tyco BMW rider Martin completed a double in the blue riband class on his Superstock S1000RR, narrowly holding off Dunlop in the Open A race.
He then took full advantage in the main event of the day after Dunlop crashed out unhurt on the exit of Mackney corner while leading.
The jubilant Lincolnshire rider, who was making his return to the 2.1-mile course for the first time since 2013, said: “I could have smoked a Woodbine in that last race, the Superstock BMW was so stable and working just mint.
“I was never under any pressure and when Dunlop came past, I thought, ‘this will give me a chance to have a look at what he is doing and plan my pass for the last lap’.
“We certainly had an advantage on the back part of the circuit and definitely the speed on the front straight to make the pass.
“It didn’t need to happen, but a good day all round and just what we needed.”
Dublin’s Derek Sheils, who started from pole on his BikeBitsNI Kawasaki ZX-10R, took up the early running in the Cookstown 100 Superbike race and held a slender advantage of 0.3 seconds at the end of the opening lap.
However, Martin quickly found a way past on lap two and with a clear track ahead of him established a gap of 0.7 seconds by the of lap four over Dunlop, who was now into second and giving chase after passing Sheils.
The 26-year-old Ballymoney man, who only tested his new Milwaukee Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike for the first time at Oulton Park a day before practice, reeled in the race leader and the margin between the pair at the line following the completion of lap six of 10 was down to 0.172 seconds.
Dunlop looked menacing and took over at the front on the next lap on the approach to Black’s Jump, immediately edging away from Martin by 0.682 seconds by the time they flashed through the start/finish area.
The 11-time Isle of Man TT winner was attempting to put some daylight between himself and Martin, but Dunlop’s race ended on a sour note when he came off on lap eight, handing victory to Martin on a plate as the race was red-flagged and the result declared based on positions at the end of lap six.
Dunlop had the consolation of the fastest lap of the day on his Milwaukee Yamaha Superbike at 90.708mph, some way off his lap record of 91.480mph set on the MD Racing Honda in 2013, with the cool temperatures producing less than ideal conditions for super-fast lap times.
Sheils held on for second place ahead of Mar-Train Yamaha’s Dean Harrison, who caught the eye on only his second visit to the Co Tyrone circuit, with William Dunlop on the second of the Tyco BMW Superstock machines in fourth.
The top six was completed by Ballyclare’s Jamie Hamilton on the Cookstown/B.E. Racing Suzuki and James Cowton (DTR Honda).
Martin also emerged on top in the Open A Superbike race, opening his account by one-hundredth-of-a-second over Dunlop, who had to work his way past Wilson Craig Honda’s Derek
McGee and Sheils before throwing down his challenge in the shortened six-lap race.
Sheils finished third ahead of McGee and William Dunlop, with Jamie Hamilton next, 12 seconds down on Martin.
William Dunlop celebrated his maiden four-stroke victories at the Cookstown 100 with a dominant double in the Supersport class on the Chris Dowd/Ivan Curran Racing Yamaha.
Retro Rewind: Triumph and tragedy at the 2008 North West 200* A message from the Editor:
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