OPEN SUCCESS FOR DEREK SHEILS AT WALDERSTOWN
Derek Sheils continued his rich vein of form winning the Open superbike race at Walderstown.
The Burrows Engineering / RK Racing rider has been nigh-on unbeatable in the premier class recently and today’s win will further extend his lead in the Irish Road Racing Championship.
Sheils finished 3.5s clear of Martin Jones Racing’s Michael Sweeney and 5.1s ahead of pole sitter Derek McGee who is returning from an injury he sustained at this year’s Isle Of Man TT road races. Sheils also posted the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:07.843.
Thomas Maxwell finished in a fourth place and he was followed home by James Chawke in fifth. Mike Browne, Darryl Tweed and Dave Butler were the next to finish with Derek Wilson and Dean Campbell completing the top ten.
Open Championship Race result
1 82 Derek SHEILS 8:14.878
2 65 Michael SWEENEY +3.510
3 86 Derek MCGEE +5.129
4 1 Thomas MAXWELL
5 10 James CHAWKE
6 16 Michael BROWNE
7 59 Darryl TWEED
8 91 Dave BUTLER
9 172 Derek WILSON
10 78 Dean CAMPBELL
11 44 Liam CHAWKE
12 92 Noel CARROLL
13 99 Paul FALLON
Image courtesy of Donal Glackin
MCGUINNESS AND RUTTER RETURN TO CLASSIC TT WITH TEAM WINFIELD
Team Winfield, one of the most successful Classic teams of recent years, will return to the TT Mountain Course in 2019 - continuing with the experienced John McGuinness and Michael Rutter in a highly experienced line up for the Classic TT presented by Bennetts.
The team will split their efforts between the Bennetts Senior Classic TT, where reigning champion McGuinness will again ride the rapid 500cc Paton, and the RST Superbike Classic TT Race, which will see this year’s SES TT Zero Race winner Rutter on board one of Roger Winfield’s FJ1200 Harris Yamaha’s.
With the exception of 2017, when he was forced out by injury, 23-time TT winner McGuinness has campaigned the Italian machine every year since the inaugural Classic TT in 2013. McGuinness will be looking to add to his two wins - in 2016 and 2018 - and give Winfield his fourth Classic TT victory after Josh Brookes also claimed the honours when he deputised for McGuinness in 2017.
The Morecambe Missile overcame a stiff challenge from Dean Harrison three years ago when he set the current lap record of 113.342mph, while last year saw him have a more comfortable victory. After mixed weather conditions during qualifying twelve months ago, a fastest lap of 110.676mph enabled to come home 1m13s clear of the hard charging Jamie Coward.
There is no doubt the combination of McGuinness’s skill and talent and Winfield’s engineering expertise is one to be feared, and they will come into this year’s event as one of the pre-race favourites. If the duo can repeat the performances of the last three years, McGuinness and the Paton will take some beating.
Rutter will line up in the four-lap RST Superbike Classic TT Race on board one of the team’s FJ1200 Harris Yamaha’s which will again be run in the striking and iconic yellow, black and white colours of Yamaha America.
It will be the third time Rutter, twice a winner of the Junior Classic TT Race, has ridden for Winfield at the event having taken a superb second place finish behind Michael Dunlop on his debut with the team in 2016. On that occasion, he lapped at an impressive 125.586mph, which remains the third quickest lap in the class.
A seven-time winner at the Isle of Man TT following his latest success in this year’s TT Zero Race, Rutter was back with the team twelve months ago and an opening lap in excess of 123mph put him in second place behind Harrison, before he was unluckily forced to retire at Ballacrye on the second lap.
Previous years have seen Ryan Farquhar enjoy great success for the team, both at the Manx Grand Prix and Classic TT, and with both McGuinness and Rutter confirmed for their assault on the 2019 Classic TT presented by Bennetts, Team Winfield’s intentions are clear.
Photo by RCphotos
SILICONE ENGINEERING TARGET HARRISON SUPERBIKE CLASSIC TT HATTRICK
Fresh from their victory in last month’s Dunlop Senior TT Race at the Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy, Dean Harrison and the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki team will make their return to the TT Mountain Course in August for the Classic TT presented by Bennetts.
The Bradford rider will again ride a Kawasaki ZXR750 in the four-lap RST Superbike Race, scheduled to take place on Monday 26th August, as he and the team aim for their third successive victory in the class.
Having joined forces for the first time in 2016, the combination of Harrison and the Silicone Engineering team has enjoyed major success at the International Road Racing events and the Classic TT has been no exception, with their first victory coming in record-breaking style in 2017.
The now 30-year old led the race from start to finish to defeat Kiwi ace Bruce Anstey by more than 16 seconds. With a fastest lap at an average speed of 127.212mph, Harrison set a new race record of 1hr12m32.923s, an average speed for the four laps of 124.815mph.
That record still stands as mixed weather conditions during qualifying in 2018 kept speeds down in the race, but Harrison was again in imperious form. Serving up a repeat performance of the previous year, he dominated proceedings once more and eventually took the chequered flag by more than a minute from the Horst Saiger.
Those two wins match the tally he has taken in the distinctive green, white and blue colours of Silicone Engineering at June’s Isle of Man TT, where he has also taken an additional 11 podiums for the team.
With a TT career now reading a total of three wins and 16 podiums, Harrison has established himself as one of the best road racers of his generation and also one of the most versatile, with other Classic TT wins coming in the 2013 Formula Classic and 2015 Senior Classic TT Races.
However, while both he and Silicone Engineering Kawasaki are firm favourites for honours in August, they’re well aware they won’t have it all their own way and with a star-studded field including the likes of Conor Cummins, Michael Rutter, Gary Johnson and Jamie Coward, it promises to be another thrilling encounter.
Photo by RCphotos
SUCCESSFUL RETURN TO ACTION FOR DEREK MCGEE AT WALDERSTOWN
Derek McGee made a welcome return to roads competition today at Walderstown and the Irishman was quickly up to speed as he managed to secure pole position in three classes.
McGee, who hasn’t ridden competitively since this year’s Isle Of Man TT road races, will start from the front for tomorrow’s Open, Supersport and Supertwins races.
Setting the fastest lap in the Open Class at 1:07.964s, McGee managed to relegate current Irish Roads Superbike Championship leader Derek Sheils (1:08.204) into second place with local rider Thomas Maxwell a second back on McGee in third.
The two Derek’s were again vying for pole in the middleweight class and it was McGee who qualified on pole (1:09.808), eight tenths quicker than Sheils (1:10.606) onboard the Roadhouse Macau Yamaha R6. Mike Browne (1:10.752) was a further tenth back on Sheils qualifying in a very impressive third place.
McGee managed to make it a hat trick of pole positions when he went quickest in the Supertwins Class onboard the KMR Kawasaki, at 1:13.788s. James Chawke (1:14.294) was a further half second back with last week’s Skerries 100 Supertwins winner Michael Sweeney (1:14.883) qualifying in third on the Keily Heating backed Kawasaki.
BRENNAN TAKES VICTORY IN JUNIOR SUPPORT NON-CHAMPIONSHIP RACE AT WALDERSTOWN
Vinny Brennan won today’s Junior Support Non-Championship race at Walderstown.
The current Irish Junior Support Championship leader had earlier qualified his TRB Suzuki on pole with a time of 1:18.988 and led throughout the six lap race to take the chequered flag with a winning margin of 4.5s over Jason Cassells. John Ella finished in third place 8.3s adrift of Brennan.
JUNIOR SUPPORT NON-CHAMPIONSHIP RACE - 6 LAPS
1 79 Vinny BRENNAN 7:54.896
2 43 Jason CASSELLS +4.544
3 173 John ELLA +8.333
4 94 Ray SHEERAN
5 13 Gary MCCOY
6 111 Noel SMITH
7 15 RJ WOOLSEY
8 112 Martin CURRAMS
9 11 John CAHILL
10 9 Keelim RYAN
11 109 Mike GIBBONS
12 68 Aron HATCH
13 130 Nigel MCAULEY
14 5 Gillian MCGAW
15 103 David BRODERICK
16 40 Michael HOEY
17 123 Alan FISHER
18 62 Aidan CLEARY
SUCCESSFUL RETURN TO SOUTHERN 100 FOR SWEENEY
Michael Sweeney returned to the 2019 Southern 100 following his debut at Billown last year and secured three podium finishes to cap off a memorable week for the amiable Irish rider.
In the morning session of Championship Day, Sweeney managed to put his Yamaha R6 on the podium finishing behind Dean Harrison and Jamie Coward. The afternoon’s session saw a repeat performance in the Bettridges Of Foxdale Car Sales 600cc Race to make it two middleweight podiums out of two.
The Ocean Motor Village 250/650cc Race was to bring Sweeney’s best finish of the week as he secured second place on the Keily Heating backed Kawasaki, finishing behind double Southern 100 winner Dominic Herbertson and ten seconds ahead of Billown newcomer, Xavier Denis.
In Thursday’s two 1000cc races the Martin Jones Racing backed Sweeney finished in a very credible 6th and 7th places. There was also an 8th place finish in Wednesday evening’s Radcliffe Butchers 600cc Race and an 8th place finish in the Ellan Vannin Fuels Senior Race.
Photo by RC Photos
DOMINIC HERBERTSON DOES THE DOUBLE AT THE SOUTHERN 100
Dominic Herbertson romped home in today’s Ocean Motor Village 250/650cc Race at the Southern 100 to complete a clean sweep in the Supertwins class.
Herbertson, stepping in for the injured Paul Jordan on the Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki, was utterly dominant and led from start to finish eventually crossing the line with a healthy winning margin of +19.023 over Ireland’s Michael Sweeney. Xavier Denis took a hard earned and very impressive third place on his debut at Billown.
The early to middle stages of the race saw Herbertson duelling with Rob Hodson, but after Hodson was forced to retire with two laps to go, the pressure was off Herbertson leaving him with a huge lead and he was free to coast to the finish to secure his second win of the week and cap off a terrific meeting for the ever popular English rider.
Ocean Motor Village 250/650cc Race
1 2 Dominic Herbertson 15:02.759
2 65 Michael Sweeney +19.023
3 182 *Xavier Denis +29.142
4 5 Michael Evans
5 64 Stephen McKnight
6 75 Dave Moffitt
7 16 Dan Sayle
8 31 Brad Vicars
9 46 Anthony Redmond
10c67 Gavin Brown
11 23 Adrian Kershaw
12 89 Sean Seddon
13 121 Jack Fowler
14 128 Paul Gartland
15 66 *Garth Woods
16 28 Tom Snow
17 85 Laurence Cummins
18 43 Adrian Skaife
19 13 Jack Petrie
20 54 *Bradley Wilson
21 63 Andrew Castle
Photo by RCphotos
BOOTH SHINES AT BILLOWN
Dennis Booth capped off a tremendous championship day at the Southern 100 Road Races with a win and a third place.
Ballymena rider Booth got the day off to a great start in the thrilling JCK Ltd 600 Race which saw the lead change hands in the early stages before finally settling towards the finale.
Riding his 600cc Kawasaki, Booth finished in a fine third place 2.9s adrift of winner David McConnachy and nine tenths off second placed Don Gilbert.
The GH Corlett Solo Founders Race was the next one up and Booth was untouchable as he romped home in a total race time of 15:13.149 to cross the finish line 6.7s clear of Jean-Pierre Polet in second place. Richard Eglin rounded off the podium finishers.
GH Corlett Solo Founders Race
1 26 Dennis Booth 15:13.149 (1st combined)
2 119 Jean-Pierre Polet +6.711 (2nd combined)
3 32 Richard Eglin +11.375 (3rd combined)
Photo by RCphotos
DOMINANT WEEK FOR DEAN HARRISON AS HE CLINCHES ANOTHER SOUTHERN 100 SOLO CHAMPIONSHIP
Dean Harrison enjoyed a truly dominant week of top class roads performances which culminated in the Bradford rider clinching his third Southern 100 solo championship crown.
The Silicone Engineering Kawasaki rider capped off his week with a victory in the Hunt’s Motorcycles Solo Championship Race. He led for the entire 9-lap race and took the chequered flag by a winning margin of 14.8s over Ryan Kneen. Rob Hodson was in third place.
The 2019 Isle Of Man Senior TT winner was imperious throughout practice and racing and his third solo championship now means he is tied with Guy Martin and the great Joey Dunlop on three wins and his tally of wins this week, he now has 24 around Billown, means that only Ian Lougher and Joey Dunlop are ahead of him.
Dean Harrison’s results for the 2019 Southern 100
Bettridges Of Foxdale Car Sales 600cc Race
1 1 Dean Harrison 16:34.025 l
2 36 Jamie Coward +2.461
3 65 Michael Sweeney +17.134
Hunt’s Motorcycles Solo Championship Race
1 1 Dean Harrison 20:34.256
2 10 Ryan Kneen +14.832
3 44 Rob Hodson +15.219
S&S Motors 600cc Race
1 1 Dean Harrison 17:09.390
2 36 Jamie Coward +0.268
3 65 Michael Sweeney +16.276
Island Aggregates Senior Race
1 1 Dean Harrison 16:16.926
2 6 Sam West +11.621
3 36 Jamie Coward +12.858
Ellan Vannin Fuels Senior Race
1 Dean Harrison 15:55.055
2 Michael Dunlop +10.504
3 Jamie Coward +25.867
Radcliffe Butchers 600cc Race
1 1 Dean Harrison 16:32.459
2 36 Jamie Coward +0.416
3 5 Michael Evans +26.966
Photos by RCphotos
FOUNDS AND WALMSLEY WIN THRILLING SIDECAR CHAMPIONSHIP RACE AT THE SOUTHERN 100
Pete Founds and Jevan Walmsley wrapped up their week’s work by securing their first Southern 100 Sidecar Championship.
The Rowtec Suzuki powered duo held off a strong challenge from the Silicone Engineering / Barnes Racing duo of John Holden and Lee Cain with only 0.131s separating both teams as they took the chequered flag. The lead changed hands midway through the race and Founds / Walmsley had to fight their way back into first place and the joy was visible for all to see as they took a hard earned victory.
Lee Crawford/ Scott Hardie finished in a fine third place +14.769s back on the winners. Last year’s champions and race winners in the day’s earlier sidecar race, Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes were penalised ten seconds for a jump start.
Daryl Blake Construction Sidecar Championship Race
1 72 Pete Founds/ Jevan Walmsley 15:25.253
2 2 John Holden/ Lee Cain +0.131
3 17 Lee Crawford/ Scott Hardie +14.769
4 44 Alan Founds/ Jake Lowther
5 3 Conrad Harrison/ Andy Winkle
6 55 *Michael Russell/ Tom Bryant
7 9 *Michael Kirkup/ Arlo Brown
8 23 *Richard Hackney/ Dave Ryder
9 33 *Shaun Chandler/ Ben Chandler
Photo by RCphotos
SOUTHERN 100 CHAMPIONSHIP DAY RECAP
Racing got underway at the Southern 100 in ideal conditions and fans were treated to some amazing action around the Billown course.
David McConnachy took victory in the JCK Ltd 600cc Race 2. The Cramlington rider had to fight through some early battles for the lead but as the race developed he managed to gain a lead and he crossed the line onboard his Yamaha R6 to take victory by two seconds from Nutbourne’s Don Gilbert. Dennis Booth was in third place.
The day’s opening Ace Hire sidecar race was a dramatic affair which was won by last year’s Sidecar Champions Tim Reeves/ Mark Wilkes.
After a race-long duel with no less than four outfits, Reeves and Wilkes managed to take the win with Alan Founds / Jake Lowther finishing as runners up. Pete Founds / Jevan Walmsley crossed the line in third place.
In the GH Corlett Solo Founders Race, Dennis Booth took the overall victory by 6.7s over Jean-Pierre Polet in second spot. Richard Elgin was third overall. Marc Colvin was the first 650cc machine home to take a class win and Tim Burrows was the leading 600cc machine to finish.
In the Station Garage Sidecar Consolation Race, newcomers Ryan Crowe / Callum Crowe took victory by 1.4s over John Lowther / Robert Child in second place with Michael Russell / Tom Bryant completing the podium places.
Photo by RCphotos
PAUL JORDAN BATTLING THUMB INJURY TO BE FIT TO RACE AT 2019 fonaCAB ULSTER GRAND PRIX
Magherafelt’s Paul Jordan is determined to be fit to race at the 2019 fonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix after suffering a broken thumb during a meeting Anglesey in June.
The Dafabet/Devitt’s Kawasaki rider has had an operation on the damaged hand and is confident he will be ready to race at Dundrod on August 5-10.
“I want to be racing at Armoy the week before the Ulster.” Jordan explained during a visit to Dundrod last week.
The injury has been a blow to the 28 year old who had been enjoying some impressive results in 2019 before the Welsh crash. A Supersport win at Kells followed a solid TT where his best result was a 4th place finish in the Lightweight Supertwin race. But it was Jordan’s performance in the opening Supersport race at the North West 200 in May that really highlighted the Magherafelt man’s potential.
Riding Alastair Russell’s Yamaha, Jordan battled for the lead with Alastair Seeley, Dean Harrison, James Hillier and eventual winner, Lee Johnston before his R6 expired on the penultimate lap when he was in 4th place.
“The 600cc is my favourite class and the results at the North West didn’t look as good as it felt.” Jordan smiles.
“I think I can repeat that performance at the Ulster though.”
It was a similarly impressive ride at last year’s UGP that sealed the deal for Jordan with the Dafabet/Devitt’s Kawasaki squad. Drafted in to replace the injured Ivan Lintin at Dundrod, Jordan took two 5th place finishes in the Supersport and Superstock races and a brilliant 4th in the Superbike race. A fastest lap at 131.3mph on a superstock spec ZX10RR convinced team bosses Roy and Ben Constable to retain the Magherafelt man’s services for 2019.
“Dundrod is fast and flowing and that suits my style.” Jordan explains.
“I’ve done a lot of short circuit racing in my career and I prefer that type of track.”
Jordan will once again campaign a superstock spec ZX10RR Kawasaki in both the Superbike and Stocker races at the Ulster plus an ER6 Kawasaki in the Supertwin class. He will also race his R6 Yamaha in Dafabet/Devitt’s colours at Dundrod after deciding to switch from the team’s ZX6RR.
“I think the Yamaha is a wee bit faster than the Kawasaki and I prefer the R6.” Jordan explained.
“I feel I have a good chance in the 600cc race at the Ulster and want to be able to fight for a win.
I’ve been going well on the supertwin too this year and even on the big bike I think there is potential for a podium finish. I am definitely chasing podiums or a win at Dundrod this year.”
Photo by Stephen Davison
DOMINIC HERBERTSON SECURES SUPERTWINS SUCCESS AND TAKES MAIDEN SOUTHERN 100 VICTORY
Dominic Herbertson secured his maiden Southern 100 win in the Mike Kerruish Plumbing & Heating Engineer 250/650cc Race on Wednesday evening in what was a thrilling and dramatic encounter.
Herbertson, riding the Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki and stepping in for the injured Paul Jordan, sealed victory by a mere 0.020s from Wigan’s Rob Hodson. Jonathan Perry finished 34s back on Herbertson to take the final podium position.
Pre-race favourite Jamie Coward clocked the fastest lap of the race (2:28.205s / 103.235mph) on lap 2 but crashed at Church Bends on the next lap while leading.
The left Herbertson and Hodson to duke it out for the remainder of the race and provide the fans with an interlude compelling finish to one of the more dramatic Billown encounters.
Mike Kerruish Plumbing & Heating Engineer 250/650cc Race
1 2 Dominic Herbertson 15:03.542
2 44 Rob Hodson +0.020
3 42 Jonathan Perry +34.297
4 182 *Xavier Denis
5 75 Dave Moffitt
6 5 Michael Evans
7 46 Anthony Redmond
8 30 Richard Charlton
9 121 Jack Fowler
10 31 Brad Vicars
11 48 Marc Colvin
12 23 Adrian Kershaw
13 128 Paul Gartland
14 67 Gavin Brown
15 89 Sean Seddon
16 66 *Garth Woods
17 28 Tom Snow
18 43 Adrian Skaife
19 69 David Jones
20 63 Andrew Castle
21 54 *Bradley Wilson
22 76 *Neil Mason
23 85 Laurence Cummins
Fastest Lap: No. 36 Jamie Coward 2m 28.205s 103.235mph on Lap 2
Photo by RC Photos
DEAN HARRISON DOES THE DOUBLE TO SEAL SUPERBIKE AND SUPERSPORT WINS AT THE SOUTHERN 100
Dean Harrison carried his qualifying pace into race mode on Wednesday evening claiming victory in the Ellan Vannin Fuels Senior Race and the Radcliffe Butchers 600cc Race to take his tally of wins at the Southern 100 to twenty.
Bradford’s Harrison was in superb form as he dominated the Superbike race onboard the Silicone Engineering Kawasaki taking the first race of the week with a winning margin of 10.504s over Tyco BMW’s Michael Dunlop, and setting a new class race record with a time of 15:55.055s. Prez Racing’s Jamie Coward took a fine third place.
In the Radcliffe Butchers 600cc race it was Harrison who again tasted glory but he was made to fight tooth and nail for it having had to pass Yamaha minuted Jamie Coward and then keep the Prez Racing rider behind him. At the end of the seven lap race Harrison’s winning margin over Coward was a mere 0.4s. Michael Evans, onboard the Wilcock Consulting Honda 600, rounded out the podium places.
In the evening’s other supersport race at a Billown, the J.C.K. Ltd. 600cc B Race, it was another thriller with Lee Hembury running out the victor onboard his Yamaha R6 machine.
The Glastonbury rider had to fight his way through a supersport train of riders to eventually seal victory over Manx rider Frankie Stennett by 0.7s. Leicester’s Ben Shuttlewood was 1.6s back on Hembury to cap off a richly deserved final podium place.
Michael Mace and Don Gilbert finished in 4th and 5th places respectively with newcomer Daniel Forbes finishing in 6th. Rad Hughes was in 7th place with Alan Johnston, Michael Brew and Jack Fowler making up the rest of the top ten.
Photo by RC Photos
SOUTHERN 100 TUESDAY PRACTICE REPORT AS DEAN HARRISON SECURES SUPERSPORT AND SUPERBIKE POLE
Dean Harrison secured a brace of pole positions tonight during second practice at Billown. The reigning Southern 100 solo champion stormed to pole in both the Supersport and Superbike classes onboard his Silicone Racing Kawasaki machinery.
2019 Senior TT winner Harrison’s best lap of the evening was 2:17.233 which was good enough to see off the challenge of double Southern 100 solo champion Michael Dunlop, riding for Tyco BMW. Dunlop’s best lap was 2:18.118, almost a second behind Harrison but just over two seconds quicker than third place man, Prez Racing’s Jamie Coward 2:20.513.
Next to Coward was Rob Hodson (2:22.104) in fourth with fifth place man Michael Evans managing a best time of 2:22.726. Sam West (2:23.013) and Michael Sweeney (2:24.366) will start at 6th and 7th respectively with Ryan Kneen (2:24.790), Mark Parrett (2:25.286), and Rhys Hardisty (2:25.347) rounding out the top ten.
Harrison will also begin the week’s middleweight encounters on pole following his 2.21.972 lap this evening which was good enough to see the Prez Racing Yamaha Of Jamie Coward who lapped at 2.22.684.
Michael Dunlop, still fighting his way back to full fitness following a pre-season injury, will start from this onboard his own MD Racing Honda after lapping at 2.22.819. That lap was almost three seconds quicker than 4th fastest man Michael Evans on the Wilcock Construction Honda.
Davies Motorsport rider Dominic Herbertson will start from 5th with local rider Nathan Harrison following him in sixth place. Sam West starts from 7th onboard the PRL Yamaha and he will have Rob Hodson behind him on the grid in 8th. Michael Sweeney and Stephen Parsons complete the top ten.
COWARD GRABS SUPERTWINS POLE
Jamie Coward put his KTS Kawasaki on pole for the Supertwins races with a fastest lap of 2.29.410. The Hebden Bridge rider has been in scorching form throughout this season and particularly in the Supertwins class having managed to gain podium finishes at both the North West 200 and Isle Of Man TT.
Starting behind Coward in second place is Kawasaki mounted Rob Hodson (2.30.094). Hodson will have the Dafabet Kawasaki of Dominic Herbertson behind him in third. Herbertson managed a lap of 2.31.724 this evening which was 2.3s faster than fourth place man Michael Sweeney (2.34.079). Winsford’s Jonathan Perry goes off in 5th with Banbridge rider Stephen McKnight in 6th.
Michael Evans, Xavier Denis, Dave Moffitt and Anthony Redmond complete the top ten grid positions.
Tim Reeves/ Mark Wilkes will start from pole following outfit’s lap of 2:32.882. The reigning sidecar champions will start ahead of nearest rivals, Pete Founds/ Jevan Walmsley
Alan Founds/ Jake Lowther (2:34.971) begin from 3rd with the pairing of John Holden/ Lee Cain (2:35.046) starting from 4th onboard the Silicone Engineering / Barnes Racing backed LCR Honda.
Lee Crawford / Scott Hardie (2:36.061) start from 5th followed by Steve and Matty Ramsden (2:41.000). Estelle LeBlond / Frank Claeys (2:41.081) go from 7th on the grid with Wayne Lockey / Mark Sayers (2:42.283) and Conrad Harrison / Andy Winkle (2:42.777) beginning from 8th and 9th respectively. Newcomers Ryan Crowe / Callum Crowe (2:44.217) complete the top ten grid places.
Photos by RCphotos
ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT BATTLES SET TO RAGE AT 2019 fonaCAB ULSTER GRAND PRIX
Last year’s Ultra Lightweight race winner at Dundrod, Christian Elkin, will return to the 2019 fonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix as one of the favourites in both 125cc/Moto3 races.
The 38 year old will ride the same Wylie Honda he has steered to victory in three of last four UGPs in Thursday’s DGH Recovery Services four lapper and again in Saturday’s five lap Plant Lubrication race. Elkin will also compete on the Dynocentre NI Centre ER6 Kawasaki in the Supertwins races and a Wylie ZXR6RR Kawasaki in the Supersport events.
“The bikes are all good and I definitely want to be chasing a podium in every race and a win if it is on.” the Englishman, who is now resident in Randalstown, Co Antrim said.
“It will be a hard task against the opposition that is out there and you need a bit of luck as well as good machinery to win around Dundrod.”
Elkin listed Derek McGee, who will ride the super fast ex Moto GP Faraldo Moto 3 machine, plus last year’s podium finisher Michal Doukopil and Gary Dunlop as some of the main contenders he will have to beat to get on the top step of the rostrum in the Ultra- Lightweight division.
“A lot will depend on the conditions and you need to have a few little tricks up your sleeve to finish in front against those boys around here.” the experienced rider smiled.
Gary Dunlop will be hoping to find a few tricks of his own as he chases his lifetime ambition of winning a race at the Ulster.
“I love Dundrod and getting a race win here would be a dream come true.” the 36 year old, who will ride the Joey’s Bar Moto3 machine, said.
“If I could do that I would probably quit and just put my feet up!”
Like Elkin, Dunlop feels his former teammate, Derek McGee, will pose the greatest threat.
“To be honest the only chance the rest of us have is if Derek isn’t here on that Faraldo machine.” Dunlop smiled.
“Elkie wont be far away either. Christian is a great rider who doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves.”
Although he was talking his rivals up, the Ballymoney man, whose best Dundrod finish is a 4th in 2017, admits he is up for this year’s race.
“I will give it a good go.” Dunlop said as he chases his first international success after National wins at Kells, Enniskillen and Skerries already this season.
“I was up for it last year and was running with Christian and Paul Robinson before the engine give up at the end of the first lap. If the weather is good I will definitely have a go.”
Fermanagh’s Melissa Kennedy made her road racing debut in the 125cc/Moto 3 race at the Ulster in 2013. The 28 year old will campaign a KNR backed NSF 250 Honda Moto 3 machine this year.
“A top five finish is my realistic aim.” the Florencecourt woman said.
“I just lost out on a podium last year when I was pipped on the line by Nigel Moore. Dundrod is a tough track and very fast and there will be a lot of very good riders and bikes out there.”
Photo by Stephen Davison
SOUTHERN 100 - FIRST PRACTICE REPORT
The 2019 Southern 100 got underway yesterday evening and last year’s solo champion Dean Harrison was bang on form topping the timesheets in the 600cc class.
It wasn’t the best of sessions with adverse weather around the Billown course causing the riders to approach their work with caution.
In the 1000cc class, Manx Grand Prix winner Michael Evans came out on top with a time of 2:35.511 onboard the Wilcock Construction BMW S1000RR, and he was followed by Mark Parrett who was nigh on five seconds slower. Third quickest was Manx rider Ryan Kneen.
Silicone Racing’s Dean Harrison topped the middleweight times with a time of 2.42.864 and his nearest rival was Prez Racing’s Jamie Coward, 2.44.633. Third fastest overall was the ever popular Dominic Herbertson (2.50.033) onboard the Davies Motorsport Kawasaki.
Jamie Coward went one better in the Supertwins session onboard the KTS Racing Kawasaki as he managed to lap at 2:44.798, eight seconds quicker than second fastest man Rob Hodson. Stephen McKnight
was third fastest overall with a time of 2:52.899
In the sidecar session it was the pairing of Pete Founds/ Jevan Walmsley who headed the timesheets (2:51.655) with Lee Crawford/ Scott Hardie (2:53.971) in second place and Tim Reeves/ Mark Wilkes (2:55.313) in third.
Photo by RCphotos
SHEILS SECURES TREMENDOUS TREBLE AT SKERRIES
Derek Sheils was in imperious form today at the County Crest Skerries 100 en route to winning securing a big bike double with a further victory coming in the day’s Supersport encounter.
The Burrows Engineering / RK Racing rider was declared the winner in the red flagged AXA Open race by a margin of 0.476s over Michael Sweeney with James Chawke taking the final podium spot.
Sheils then went on to take victory in the Kennedy Motorcycles 600 race onboard the Roadhouse Macau Yamaha R6 following a thrilling race long duel with Michael Sweeney. In what proved to be a nail-biting finish, after six laps the margin of victory was a mere 0.064s. Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed rounded out the podium places.
In the County Crest Grand Final, Sheils made it a superb hat trick. The Suzuki mounted rider made all the running but Michael Sweeney was within touching distance for the first part of the race. Eventually Sheils broke the tow and at the conclusion of the eight laps his winning margin was 6.605s over Sweeney with Michael Browne taking a well deserved third place finish.
Image courtesy of Donal Glackin
COUNTY CREST SKERRIES 100 - RACE REVIEW
Racing got underway at the 2019 County Crest Skerries 100 in superb conditions around the Co Dublin course.
The first race to go off was the AXA Open Race which was won by current Irish Superbike Championship leader Derek Sheils. Second placed man Michael Sweeney, on the MJR BMW, was in contention throughout and was stuck to the back wheel of Burrows Engineering RK Raicng’s Sheils with less than half a second between the pair as they crossed the finish line. James Chawke took a richly deserved third place on his Suzuki machine.
Next up was the seven lap Man ‘O War / Hills Cricket Club / Doorsplusfloors Junior Support race and that was won by Vinny Brennan onboard the TRB Racing Suzuki. Eoin O’Siochru secured a fine second place 4.6s back on Brennan with Dundalk rider Noel Smith taking third place on the Smith Racing Kawasaki.
Junior Classic 350 spoils went to Barry Davidson onboard the Dempster Honda. Ballycalre’s Brian Mateer finished first, and third overall combined, in the C250 stakes.
The Kennedy Motorcycles Supersport race produced as close a finish as you’re likely to see. Derek Sheils, riding the Roadhouse Macau Yamaha R6, took victory over fellow countryman Michael Sweeney
by a minuscule 0.064s. The two Yamaha riders diced for the top spot throughout the six lap race and provided the thousands of fans in attendance with a real battle to remember.
Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed finished in third place with Michael Browne and Steven Procter finishing in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Neil Kernohan took a dominant victory in the Ollie’s Place / C&T Supermarket 250/400 race finishing 14s clear of Saintfield’s Davy Morgan with David Howard in third place. Howard’s was the first 400 machine home with the first two riders both on 250’s.
DELIGHT FOR DUNLOP
There was joy for Gary Dunlop who took the spoils in the Sam Dennigan & Co 125/Moto3 race to make it three wins on the bounce for the Joey’s Bar MCC rider, following on from victories at Kells and Enniskillen.
Dunlop took victory by 11.091s over Melissa Kennedy onboard the KNR Honda. Nigel Moore finished in third place, (the first 125cc machine home), four tenths back on Kennedy. Wayne Kennedy and Malcom Love finished in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Senior Classic honours went to Guy Martin onboard the BSA Rocket. Martin took overall victory but had to work hard for it with Lancashire’s Philip Shaw nipping at his heels onboard the Bob Jackson Norton machine. Martin’s eventual winning margin just 0.067s. Ben Rea was third overall in the combined race and the first C500 rider home to take a class win.
This year’s Des D’Darcy Motors Supertwins Race was a thoroughly engrossing affair with Michael Sweeney finishing in first place on the Keily Heating Kawasaki. Local rider Andy Farrell was in second place onboard the Ollie’s Place Kawasaki machine 1.720s back on Sweeney. Neil Kernohan took third place with Vinny Brennan in fourth.
Ballyclare’s Darren Keys carried last week’s superb Enniskillen form through to Skerries and finished today’s Hughes Sales & Service / Tow My Car Senior Support race with another superb victory. Andy McAllister finished 2.7s back on Keys in second place with Ballymoney man Tommy Henry taking a fine third place on the H O’Kane Motors Yamaha.
The day’s final race was the County Crest Skerries 100 Grand Final and it was Derek Sheils who capped off an already sensational day with another victory to take his tally of wins to three.
The Burrows Engineering / RK Racing rider had to fight off competition from the impressively quick Michael Sweeney but he assuredly did just that, and over the final stages of the eight lap race Sheils broke the tow and crossed the line to take victory by 6.6s. Killeagh’s Michael Browne finished in a fine third place with Neil Kernohan taking fourth.
Darryl Tweed finished in fifth place with James Chawke just behind. Andy Farrell was in seventh with Steven Procter, Davy Morgan and Damian Horan the other finishers.
Images courtesy of Donal Glackin
COUNTY CREST SKERRIES 100 - PRACTICE REVIEW
Adverse weather this morning saw all practice at the 2019 County Crest Skerries 100 being ran as untimed sessions ahead of the commencement of racing tomorrow. It was certainly the correct call made by the Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club.
As a result of times having no effect upon proceedings, tomorrow’s grids are based solely on the current Irish Championship standings which means that Burrows Engineering / RK Racing’s Derek Sheils will start on pole in the Superbike class.
Incidentally it was Sheils who set the quickest lap of the day dipping under the 1:37.00 barrier to post a lap of 1:36.786, just over a second quicker than local rider Michael Sweeney.
Enniskillen ‘Man of the Meeting’ Kevin Fitzpatrick continued his rich vein of form when posting the fastest Supersport lap of the day at 1:47:774, and beating Derek Sheils by two tenths of a second with Michael Sweeney going third fastest overall.
Neil Kernohan was quickest in the combined 250/400 class with Alistair Haworth posting the fastest 400 lap, ten seconds off the pace of Kernohan.
Andy Farrell, a winner at Skerries in the Supertwins class last year, produced the fastest lap in the same class today, with last year’s second placed man Michael Sweeney eight tenths behind Farrell in second.
Kevin Fitzpatrick and Sam Grief produced the fastest 125cc and Moto3 laps of the day respectively although it will be Gary Dunlop who starts from pole, and the Joey’s Bar MCC rider will be aiming to secure his third straight win following on from his victories at Kells and Enniskillen.
Richard Ford was the fastest Senior Classic 1000 rider of the day and Ed Manly the same in the Senior Classic 500. Brian Mateer went quickest in the Junior Classic 250 and Barry Davidson was fastest in the C350 class.
In the Junior and Senior support stakes, Junior Support Championship leader Vinny Brennan will start from pole tomorrow and in the Senior Support Class, Andy McAllister will begin on pole.
Road will close tomorrow at 8am with a view to have racing getting underway at 10. Admission, including a race programme, is priced at €25.
Image courtesy of Donal Glackin
LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2019 COUNTY CREST SKERRIES 100
11:35am Friday 5th June 2019
The next round of the Irish National Road Racing Championship turns to the County Crest Skerries 100 this weekend, 6th and 7th July.
The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club will play host to a thrilling weekend of roads action which will feature some of the sports top stars as they take to the technical and challenging 2.9 miles circuit just outside Skerries, Co Dublin.
Returning to action after missing out Enniskillen is Burrows Engineering / RK Racing rider Derek Sheils, who currently leads the Irish Superbike Championship. Sheils powered to a Superbike double on his last outing at the Kells Road Races in Co Meath and must start as favourite to repeat that feat this weekend.
Competition for premier class honours could come in the form of Michael Sweeney, Kevin Fitzpatrick and Enniskillen Road Races double Superbike winner, Forest Dunn. Thomas Maxwell, who ran Forest so close in last week’s feature Richard Britton Memorial Race will also contest the Skerries races, as will Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed.
With a host of other riders expected to line up including Senior and Junior Support leaders Andy McAllister and Vinny Brennan, fans should expect some close racing. Gary Jordan, Noel Smith, Shaun Wynne, Paul Jordan, Ben Plant, and Neil Kernohan have also confirmed their entries ahead of practice and racing getting underway.
Loughshinny Club member Kevin Baker is a notable exemption as he continues to recover from his crash at Enniskillen and we wish him well with his recovery. Derek McGee, who has been out of action since his crash at the Isle Of Man TT, has an entry for Skerries but looks a possibility to miss the event.
Road closing times for the County Crest Skerries 100 Road Races are as follows with admission, including a race programme, priced at €25.
- Saturday 6th July - 12 noon - 8.30 PM
- Sunday 7th July - 8 AM - 6.30 PM
MICHAEL DUNLOP SET FOR FONACAB ULSTER GRAND PRIX RETURN
Michael Dunlop has made his plans clear ahead of the 2019 FonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix. The Ballymoney rider is set to return to race the world famous Dundrod course after sitting out last year’s event.
Dunlop will race for Tyco BMW on the team’s S1000RR machine in the Superbike races, and he will also run his own MD Racing Honda CBR600RR and stock BMW for the Supersport and Superstock classes.
The six-time Ulster Grand Prix winner has been fighting through an injury throughout the 2019 roads season, and although he managed to secure a 19th TT victory this year, he has stated that he may have to continue to ride through the pain barrier until he can get an operation.
Whether or not that will prevent the 30 year old from winning at Dundrod this time around, there’s little doubt that any other rider on the grid will be prepared to give more in order to stand on the top step of he podium when racing commences in August.
This year’s Ulster Grand Prix bike week runs from the 5th - 10th August and you can purchase your bike week wristbands from the Ulster Grand Prix website by clicking the link below.
GARY DUNLOP AND CONOR CUMMINS SET TO COMMEMORATE LEGENDARY ULSTER GRAND PRIX RACE
The legendary 1999 Ulster Grand Prix Superbike contest between Joey Dunlop and David Jefferies is set to be commemorated at this year’s FonaCAB Ulster Grand Prix.
Gary Dunlop, son of the great Joey Dunlop, will ride his father’s iconic race winning Honda RC45 and Conor Cummins will pilot the V&M R1 Yamaha of David Jefferies in a special 20th anniversary tribute lap.
The 1999 race, regarded by many as one of the very best races in Ulster Grand Prix history, was won by Joey Dunlop who was seen as the underdog before the race as Jefferies was the rising star on the roads.
Dunlop took the fight to Jefferies and ran out the victor to take his 24th Ulster Grand Prix win in front of thousands of adoring fans, and further write another part of his legend into the record books.
The sight of Gary Dunlop and Conor Cummins on those special machines will no doubt bring back many memories and stir the emotions of the fans who attend this year’s event. A lap not to be missed and another reason to attend the world’s greatest road race.