THE 2020 Irish National Road Racing season was packed into just one day today as the Cookstown 100 roared into life.
Traditionally the first race on the calendar, the Orritor Circuit scrap finally went ahead after months of delays and high anticipation.
Derek Sheils won the only Superbike race to notch up his sixth Cookstown big bike victory on his Roadhouse Macau BMW.
Following two red flag incidents, the first when Adam McLean crashed out and the second, on the restart, when Stephen McKnight came to grief on the opening lap, Sheils took the win in a shortened five-lap dash.
The Dubliner, who started from pole position, led from the start closely followed by fellow Southern Irish rider Michael Sweeney on his MJR BMW.
The pair quickly gapped the rest of the field with hardly a bike’s length between them, but Sheils managed to open a two-second advantage on the final lap taking the chequered flag 2.1sec ahead of Sweeney, with Thomas Maxwell seven seconds in arrears in third ahead of fourth-placed McLean, who restarted after his crash.
Mclean also had two wins in both the Supersport and Supertwin races.
Riding for McAdoo Racing, based only a stone’s throw from the Cookstown circuit, McLean – in his comeback roads event after a crash at last year’s Tandragee – opened his account with victory in the Supersport race.
Having set the fastest time yesterday and starting from pole position, he led from start to finish.
Close behind were Paul Jordan on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing R6 and Darryl Tweed on the Stanley Stewart R6, battling it out for the runner up spot.
Jordan held on until the fifth lap when Tweed got the advantage and moved into second but as the pair fought it out to the flag, Tweed crossed the line 0.8sec ahead of Jordan. Jordan’s Burrows team-mate Mike Browne was fourth with Sweeney completing the top five.
McLean followed this win with his second of the day in the Supertwin race, This race was also red flagged, but on the restart McLean led unhindered from start to finish to take a one two for the local team with last-minute McAdoo signing Tweed 3.7sec behind and Sweeney in third.
Jordan did take victory, however, a win in the 125/MOTO 3 race, with Nigel Moore and Graham Kennedy second and third.
Vinny Brennan took the honours in the Senior Support race while Michael Gillan won the Junior Support.
In the 250s, it was Neil Kernohan on top while Barry Davidson took both the Junior and Senior Classic honours.
As the day came to a close, with only the Grand Final Superbike race to run, the rain started to fall. After a short while it had deteriorated to the point where the organisers had no choice but make the decision to call the meeting off on safety grounds.