LATE entry Derek Sheils will start tomorrow’s Cookstown 100 road races from pole position after dominating today’s qualifying.
Up until the last minute it was doubtful if the Dubliner would be competing after a misunderstanding with his entry.
Following a wet start to the day, causing a delay to the start of qualifying, Sheils – a dominant force at Cookstown over the past few years – topped the timesheets on his new Roadhouse Macau BMW with a lap time of 1’26sec around the 2.1mile Orritor circuit, two seconds quicker than his nearest rival and fellow Southern Irish rider Thomas Maxwell with Michael Sweeney third quickest.
Local man Paul Jordan, in his debut road race for John Burrows’ Burrows Engineering/RK Racing team, set the target in the first session with a time of 1’29sec, but it proved to be no match for multi-time Cookstown winner Sheils.
Adam Mclean, in his first road race since his crash at last year’s Tandragee, was fifth quickest on his McAdoo Racing Kawasaki.
Mclean made amends in the Supersport session, however, and he will start tomorrow’s 600 race on pole after a blistering final lap of 1’26sec with Jordan second quickest almost a second in arrears ahead of Darryl Tweed and Sweeney.
Mclean also set the fastest time in the Supertwins class ahead of 11th-hour recruit and McAdoo team mate Tweed, with Sweeney behind.