DEREK MCGEE CROWNED 2018 DUKE ROAD RACE RANKINGS CHAMPION
After a reduced number of twenty-one road races, with the unfortunate loss of four races at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough the Duke Road Race Rankings Championship commenced with the Cookstown 100 in April and ended at the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix in November, County Westmeath rider Derek McGee has lifted the Geoff Duke Duke Trophy having deposed Yorkshireman Dean Harrison who has won the title for the last two years – Derek’s margin of victory a mere 17 points!
2015 Duke Newcomers Award winner Adam McLean finished third third, having finished 10th in 2017. Best Newcomer in the 2018 series is County Limerick rider Liam Chawke who finished 17th overall in the rankings table.
Best Classic Only competitor is Ballymena's Barry Davidson also repeating his achievement of 2017 & 2016 after being runner-up in 2015. The top female rider, also from Northern Ireland, is Melissa Kennedy who slotted into 58th place, repeating her achievement of last year.
After the opening round, the Cookstown 100, Derek was in third place in the initial rankings, headed by Adam McLean, however a week later after the Tandragee 100 the Mullingar man was top of the pile which he retained after the first of the International races, the North West 200.
A single result, second in the Isle of Man Lightweight TT saw him slip to fourth as Michael Dunlop took over the helm. Five race wins and four lap records at the Enniskillen Road Races, round nine of the championship saw Derek back on top of the table.
Current champion Dean Harrison took over the number one spot after the Southern 100, as Derek was pished down to fourth, however a four-timer at Walderstown and another five race victories at Faugheen saw him back on top with Dean in second.
A rain affected Ulster Grand Prix saw Derek retain his place at the top of the ‘leader-board’ despite being a non-starter due to a practice spill, as Adam McLean moved up to second with Dean third.
The Classic TT saw Dean back in first position, as he and Derek swapped positions in the rankings table.
Derek was passed fit to race for the penultimate ‘European’ round, the East Coast Road Races at Killalane, County Dublin, where a victory in the Darran Lindsay 600cc Supersport Race and fourth in the 125cc Championship race were enough to put him on top of the Duke Road Race Rankings 2018.
The top ten were filled by Michael Sweeney, James Cowton, Peter Hickman, Michael Dunlop, Barry Davidson, Davey Todd and Lee Johnston.
2019 Duke Road Race Rankings final standings:
1 Derek McGee - 1324
2 Dean Harrison - 1307
3 Adam McLean - 1293
4 Michael Sweeney - 975
5 James Cowton - 921
6 Peter Hickman - 887
7 Michael Dunlop - 825
8 Barry Davidson - 788
9 Davey Todd - 764
10 Lee Johnston - 645
11 Conor Cummins - 606
12 Darryl Tweed - 601
13 Derek Sheils - 544
14 Paul Jordan - 525
15 Joey Thompson - 492
16 Thomas Maxwell - 486
17 Liam Chawke - 462
18 Kevin Fitzpatrick - 444
19 Andrew Farrell - 443
20 Paul Gartland - 427
21 James Hillier - 421
22 Ivan Lintin - 405
23 Barry Sheehan - 400
24 Wayne Sheehan - 370
25 Nigel Moore - 363
26 Jamie Coward - 354
27 Michael Browne - 346
28 Danny Webb - 338
29 Rob Hodson - 325
30 Christian Elkin - 321
31 Martin Jessopp - 317
32 Alastair Seeley - 316
33 Dominic Herbertson - 314
34 Michael Rutter - 312
35 Stephen Morrison - 308
36 Brian Mateer - 304
37 Brian Laughlin - 302
38 Richard Ford - 292
39 James Chawke - 285
40 Michael Evans - 265
DEAN HARRISON LOOKING TO BUILD ON 2018 SUCCESS
Dean Harrison has admitted it will be a “tall order” to improve on his incredible 2018 TT, “but that’s the plan!”
Harrison reached new heights during TT 2018, topping the timesheets during practice and looking like the man to beat going into Race Week. As expected, the Yorkshireman took a commanding lead in the opening RST Superbike TT Race, and set a new lap record of 134.432mph from a standing start. But disaster struck when he was forced to retire his Silicone Engineering Kawasaki ZX-10RR on the 4th lap due to a clutch issue.
A 2nd place in the first Monster Energy Supersport Race was followed by another podium in the RL360 Superstock TT. Harrison then made it onto the top step of the podium in the second Supersport encounter- his second career TT win, following his Lightweight TT success way back in 2014.
The 2018 TT culminated in a titanic battle between Harrison and Peter Hickman in the PokerStars Senior Race. Harrison led for 5½ laps of the 6 lap race, but Hickman was never more than 6 seconds in arrears. Pushing on in the final lap, Harrison set another new lap record of 134.918mph, but this was topped by Hickman moments later. His astonishing final lap of 135.452mph was enough to snatch victory from Harrison by only 2 seconds, in what will surely be remembered as one of the greatest ever TT Races.
Speaking with Steve Plater at Motorcycle Live, Harrison confirmed that he will remain with the Silicone Engineering outfit for 2019. Following their success in 2018, the team were recently elevated to the status of official Kawasaki Road Racing Team.
Tickets for the 2019 events are now on sale via the Official iomttraces.com website including Official Grandstands Tickets, VIP Hospitality Experiences, and Official Entertainment Events.
SEELEY TO RETURN TO THE NORTH WEST 200 WITH EHA RACING
After securing a supersport clean sweep in 2018, Alastair Seeley will return to the triangle in 2019 with EHA Racing.
Seeley, the event’s all time record holder for race wins, is looking to further enhance his victory tally which now stands at 24.
2018 saw the Ulsterman not only grab a brace of victories, but also take a class lap record and he will be looking to repeat his success when racing gets underway in May of next year.
Seeley will once again pilot the local team’s Yamaha R6 machinery and will start as the man to beat in the middleweight class.
JOEY THOMPSON TEAMS UP WITH WH RACING
Exciting and well regarded road racing prospect Joey ‘Yorkshire’ Thompson will partner with established outfit WH Racing for the upcoming 2019 rod racing season.
Thompson will ride for the team in the Superbike and Superstock class at the major international events and will be looking to transfer his blistering middleweight and lightweight form to the premier classes.
Already having shown his talent and racing pedigree throughout 2018, especially when piloting the beautifully sounding Paton, Thompson will be looking to build on his growing list of impressive results which have included podium finishes at the Southern 100 and North West 200.
WH RACING OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
WH Racing Team are delighted to announce that Joey “Yorkshire” Thompson has signed to ride for the team in the 2019 race season.
Joey rode for the team at the last round of British Supersport at Brands Hatch in October and since then we are pleased that a deal has been agreed to continue the partnership through into 2019.
Everyone here at WH Racing are looking forward to new challenges and to our first outing in 2019 and are looking forward to working with joe.
Thank you to our loyal sponsors and supporters.
COWARD JOINS PREZ RACING TEAM FOR TT 2019 CAMPAIGN
The ambitious Isle of Man based PreZ Racing team has secured the services of Jamie Coward - one of pure road racing’s most respected new wave of competitors - for the 2019 and 2020 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy.
He is set to pilot Raceways built YZF R6 and YZF R1M Yamaha machinery in the two Monster Energy Supersport Races, the RL360 Superstock, the RST Superbike and PokerStars Senior TT Races.
The PreZ Racing squad will also return to the Southern 100 and are quietly confident that the amiable Hebden Bridge racer can improve on his strong performances to date, which include an eighth place finish in last year’s Senior TT, and lead the Yamaha challenge at the TT Races. They will also race for the team at the other main international races including the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix.
Yorkshire’s Coward, twice the TT Privateers Championship runner up, also enjoyed a strong Classic TT meeting in August, scoring second place finishes in the Bennetts Senior and Locate.im Junior Classic TT races.
He has a fastest TT Mountain Course lap of 128.877mph and a best placed TT finish of seventh, which he achieved in the 2016 Bennetts Lightweight TT Races.
Speaking recently about securing the former Newcomers A Manx GP runner up’s services for the 2019 and 2020 Isle of Man TT Races, PreZ Racing Team Owners John and Zandra Preston said:
“We are delighted to have Jamie riding for the PreZ Racing team next season. He is such an easy rider to work with and always wants the best for the team. His determination to succeed is second to none, and we believe the Yamaha package will provide him with some top class finishes next season.”
“Although we’re a small outfit, the team behind the scenes work really hard to achieve and maintain the high standards required to make Jamie’s job enjoyable whilst out on the track.”
Coward is looking forward to linking up with the Isle of Man based outfit again and said:
“I am really happy to confirm that I’ll be riding for PreZ Racing on the Yamaha R1 as well as the R6 next season. The team is only small but is very well run by John and Zandra Preston. I am really looking forward to getting my teeth into the Yamaha R1, and believe the bike will really suit my riding style. After a few years of development, the bike now looks like a good package.”