ADAM McLean, Mike Browne and Forest Dunn were among the winners at an action-packed KDM Hire Cookstown 100 road races yesterday.
Both McLean and Browne shared top the honours in the little bike, 600 and Open races, taking two wins and a runner-up finish apiece, while a delighted Dunn scored the feature race victory to cap off a hectic meeting at the Orritor circuit.
Aboard the Joey’s Bar MCC Honda, Browne opened his account with an easy win in the Moto 3 class, taking the chequered flag 37.58sec ahead of Nigel Moore and Mellissa Kennedy.
The Supersport race was delayed following a heavy crash involving Michael Sweeney and while the Skerries man escaped reasonably unscathed and was fit enough to complete the Open Superbike race, his Yamaha R6 was too heavily damaged to continue.
Following the crash, the Open Superbike race was brought forward in the programme where it turned out to be a classic battle between McAdoo Kawasaki’s McLean and Burrows Engineering/RK Racing man Browne.
McLean nabbed the holeshot off the start line with Browne and Sweeney in close pursuit, with less than second separating the lead trio in the opening few laps. But by lap six, Sweeney couldn’t maintain the hot pace of McLean and Browne.
On the final lap it looked like McLean had the win in the bag, but Browne had other ideas and snatched the advantage to take his maiden road racing Superbike win 1.2sec ahead of McLean and Sweeney in third.
The delayed Supersport race was dominated by McLean, determined to make up for the disappointment of the big bike outing, as he set a blistering pace and laid down a faultless performance taking the flag 9.143sec ahead of Browne, leaving Paul Jordan on the PreZ Yamaha R6 a distant 25.3sec in arrears to secure third.
McLean’s second win of the day came in the Supertwin Scrap where he chalked up another unhindered victory 29.218sec ahead of Stephen McKnight and Barry Sheehan in third.
The final race of the meeting, the feature Cookstown 100 Superbike race looked as if it was shaping up to be another Browne v McLean duel, but red flags were thrown on lap four as rain began to hit the circuit.
After a half-hour delay, organisers were set to restart racing and the decision was left to the riders – following two sighting laps to assess the conditions, many of the front runners – including McLean, Browne and Jordan – elected to sit out the final.
In a four-lap dash which turned into a tight battle for supremacy between McLean’s McAdoo team-mate Darryl Tweed, David Jackson and Dunn, Jackson led the opening two laps before Tweed took his turn at the front.
But on the final lap Dunn sliced through to hit the front, holding on to take the win just 0.551sec clear of Tweed with Jackson in a comfortable third.
The Senior Support race was won by Barry Sheehan, Keelim Ryan second and Dean Lacey third.
In the Senior Classic race, the 1000cc class honours went the way of Andy Hornby on a Trident 750 some 20sec clear of Norton man Richard Ford and Ben Rea, while Barry Davidson had no trouble keeping clear of Wattie Brown and John Leigh Pemberton to bag the 500cc spoils.
Davidson, who was later crowned Man of the Meeting for his hat-trick of wins, was back out for the 350cc battle where he beat Hornby and Nigel Moore by more than eight seconds, as Brian Mateer kept a similar distance ahead of Phillip Shaw and Ford to take the 250cc win.
Amid a field of Moto3 and 125 machines, Davidson racked up three wins in total with a Supersport 300 win aboard the Trison McMullan Kawasaki, two seconds clear of RJ Woolsey, later a Supermono B race winner, and Linton Irwin.
Feature race podium man Tweed was also out aboard an M&D Racing F400, where he dominated the Lightweight Supersport class over Stephen Tobin and Kris Duncan, as roads stalwart Davy Morgan took the 250GP victory as he crossed the line second overall.
After taking an Open B win on Friday, Dan Harrison did it again yesterday, beating Redmond comfortably in the Cookstown 100 B race with Faugheen Club rider Vinny Brennan third over the line.
Michael Gillan got the better of Nigel Rea to win yesterday’s Junior Support scrap as Mick Hogan just missed out on the runner-up spot by 0.153sec to take third. In yesterday’s opening Senior Support A race it was Keelim Ryan who picked up victory with a nearly four second gap over Jack Oliver and Dean Lacey.
In the 250cc Classic B ranks, Trevor Stewart beat Robert Wright by almost five seconds, while Mark Johnson only just pipped Leon Murphy by 0.160sec for the 350cc trophy.