McGee crowned 2017 Irish Roads Superbike Champ at Killalane

Picture: Derek Wilson

Derek McGee was crowned Irish National Roads Superbike Champion at the East Coast Racing Festival, Killalane despite a crash at the Ulster Grand Prix where he sustained a hip injury which meant his entry at Killalane was doubtful.

Derek Sheils started as hot favourite and didn’t disappoint, winning the only Superbike race of the day, blitzing the opposition taking the chequered flag some 15 seconds ahead of Michael Sweeney and third placed McGee.

The podium was enough for him to add the Superbike Championship to the Supersport and Supertwin titles he had been crowned earlier in the season at Armoy.

Sheils had been dominant through out the season and favorite to win his third successive title but having agreed to be best man at a friend’s wedding meant he missed the Armoy races and McGee’s results there gave him a 17 point advantage going into the season finale races.

In the Supersport races Michael Sweeney took a double win with McGee having already clinched the 600 championship decided to sit the races out. Sweeney took full advantage winning the opening non-championship race by four seconds from second-placed Sheils and Paul Jordan in third on his IMR Evolution Camping R6.

The championship race was a three way battle between Sweeney, Sheils and Jordan. Sheils had a brief moment at the front but Sweeney regained the lead and held on to take the win by 0.16 seconds with Sheils second and Jordan 1.2s behind in third.

Gary Dunlop had his first road race win in the 125/Moto3 race. Paul Robinson led off the line but a mechanical problem forced him to retire letting fellow Ballymoney rider Dunlop on the Joeys Bar Honda Moto3 take the win by 10.5 seconds from Nigel Moore and Mellissa Kennedy in third.

Joe Loughlin was the winner in the Junior Support race. He had a commanding lead when it was red flagged due to heavy rain. The conditions worsened with torrential rain and high winds and after a delay to see if things would improve the meeting was abandoned.

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