William Dunlop ‘Man of the Meeting’ at Cookstown 100

William Dunlop was named ‘Man of the Meeting’ at the Cookstown 100 following two wins and two top five finishes.

The Tyco BMW rider was untouchable in both Supersport races, charging to victory on his CD Racing Yamaha. He won the Invitational race by over five seconds from Dean Harrison and Jamie Hamilton while the Championship race was a closer affair. Derek McGee was just seven tenths off Dunlop as they crossed the line with Harrison in third. It was a fifth place on corrected time from the second group for Dunlop in the Open race and he took a fourth from the second group in the feature race.

Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop battle for position © The H Duct
Guy Martin and Michael Dunlop battle for position © The H Duct

It was also a positive day for team-mate Guy Martin who took victories in both the Open and Cookstown 100. Having taken overall victory in the Spring Cup at Scarborough a fortnight ago, there were two more wins for the popular rider at Cookstown. He also won on his last appearance at the Orritor circuit in 2013 when he won the Supersport race having sat out 2014. Martin battled with Michael Dunlop in both races and he narrowly beat the Milwaukee Yamaha rider by a tenth of a second in the Open race. They went wheel-to-wheel again in the feature race but when Dunlop took the lead on the eighth lap he pushed just too hard and came off. Rider was reported to be O.K. but the race was red flagged, giving Martin the win ahead of Derek Sheils and Harrison, the latter of which came from the second group.

“I could have smoked a Woodbine in that last race,” Martin said after the race. “The Superstock BMW was so stable and working just mint. I was never under any pressure and when [Michael] Dunlop came past, I thought ‘this will give me a chance to have a look at what he is doing and plan my pass for the last lap’. We certainly had an advantage on the back part of the circuit and definitely the speed on the front straight to make the pass. It didn’t need to happen, but a good day all round and just what we needed.”

During the race proceedings a presentation was made to TAS Racing’s Team Owner Hector Neill for his services to the sport.

The Supertwins class was hotly contested, with the top four battling for the race win. James Cowton took pole position but ended up finishing fourth while Michael Dunlop won. Michael Sweeney was second just half a second down on Dunlop with Hamilton picking up another podium in third. The top four exchanged fastest laps and broke the lap record with Cowton ending up the eventual holder of it. Paul Gartland won the B race ahead of Barry Sheehan and Mark Sheils.

Derek McGee leads the pack at the start of the Open race © The H Duct
Derek McGee leads the pack at the start of the Open race © The H Duct

Elsewhere in the B races Andy Lawson beat Sam Wilson and Michal Dokoupil in Supersport while Gartland secured victory in the Open B race. He beat Ben Rea by just five hundredths of a second with Dokoupil taking a second group corrected time third place. Dean Campbell beat Kevin Fitzpatrick and Seanie Smith in the Senior Support B race as Sean Seddon took victory in race B ahead of Derek Wilkie and Tam Nicholl. The three Junior Support races were won by Brian Coomey, Wayne Sheehan, and Derek Wilkie in A, B and C respectively. The podium positions were filled by Rea, Adam McLean, Rikki McGovern, Colin Bowles, Dokoupil, and Tommy Heaphy.

Victory in the Senior Classic went to Richard Ford ahead of Barry Davidson and Wattie Brown. Davidson took the win in the Junior Classic race beating Nigel Moore and Davie Hastings. Ian Morrell won the Supersport 400 A race finishing nine seconds clear of Alastair Bayley in second. Seamus Elliott rounded out the podium trio. Wilkie won the B race with Dokoupil picking up yet another podium and Heaphy third. Sam Wilson took his first victory on the Joey’s Bar 125cc Honda ahead of Moore and Paul Jordan in the Moto 3 class.

It was a full day of racing at the Orritor circuit as races which had been rained off on Friday evening were held in the morning. The sun shone after brief showers in the morning, allowing organisers to push ahead with their full schedule. The next Irish road race meeting is the Tandragee 100 this coming weekend ahead of the first International race of the year.

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