Dublin’s Derek Sheils bagged a sizzling double in the Open and Grand Final races at the AXA Bikecare Skerries 100 on Saturday on a day marred by the sad death of popular travelling doctor John Hinds.
News of Dr Hinds’ death cast a shadow over the event after the 35-year-old Tandragee man’s death was confirmed following his accident during practice on Friday.
Racing went ahead at the north County Dublin course and Sheils proved unbeatable on his BikeBits NI Kawasaki, taking a narrow win over Tyco BMW’s William Dunlop in the Open race by less than half a second, with third place going to the impressive Alan Bonner, who notched a brace on his Kawasaki at Kells in June.
Michael Dunlop was back in action for the first time since the Isle of Man TT on his MD Racing BMW but retired from the race.
In the feature Grand Final, Sheils made a flying start from pole and gradually edged away at the front from William Dunlop, who was riding a 1000cc machine for the first time since his accident at the TT, which left the Ballymoney rider with a broken rib.
At the finish, Sheils had more than four seconds in hand over Dunlop, who was clear of John Walsh in third.
Michael Dunlop finished fourth and now turns his attention to next week’s Southern 100 meeting at Billown on the Isle of Man.
William Dunlop took victory in the Supersport class on the Chris Dowd/Ivan Curran Racing Yamaha after holding off a determined challenge from Derek McGee, who was riding his own Yamaha machine after splitting from Wilson Craig Racing last week.
Seamus Elliott finished on the rostrum in third position.
Mullingar man McGee won the Supertwins race on the Wogan Performance Kawasaki comfortably from Paul Jordan, who was the winner of the 125GP race from Paul Robinson.
Cullybackey’s Sam Wilson clinched victory in the 250cc race on the Joey’s Bar Honda.
Walderstown in Co Westmeath hosts the next Irish road race during a busy month on July 12.