McGee wins Duke Road Race Rankings Trophy

Picture: Derek Wilson

After a reduced number of 21 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.

Irish rider Derek McGee has lifted the Geoff Duke Duke Trophy having deposed Yorkshireman Dean Harrison - the winner for the last two years – with a 17-point margin of victory.

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 and 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 pushed 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, the late James Cowton, Peter Hickman, Michael Dunlop, Barry Davidson, Davey Todd and Lee Johnston.

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