BURROWS ENGINEERING/RICHARDSON KELLY RACING VICTORY
There was more success for the Burrows Engineering/Richardson Kelly Racing team at the sun-kissed Around A Pound Tandragee 100 in Co. Armagh on Saturday as Derek Sheils won the Open Superbike race, earning his second victory of the season on the Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Sheils, who won the corresponding race at the Cookstown 100 the previous weekend, also finished a close runner-up in a thrilling Tandragee 100 Superbike event, missing out on the win by only 0.195 seconds after a race-long battle with Derek McGee.
In the Open race, Derek sat behind McGee before making his move on the final lap, hitting the front and opening a small advantage, which he held to the finish to sew up another Irish National road racing victory by 0.4 seconds. He was right in contention for a Superbike double with McGee in the final race of the day, with the pair swapping places in front of the huge crowds. It could have gone either way, but in the end, McGee edged through to snatch a narrow win as Sheils claimed a battling runner-up finish.
Kent’s Tom Weeden was a newcomer to the undulating Tandragee course and the former Senior Manx Grand Prix winner had a best finish of 14th place on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Yamaha in the Supersport race, as he continued his preparations for the Isle of Man TT.
The International North West 200 is up next for the Dungannon-based team, where practice gets underway on Tuesday, May 14.
Team Principal – John Burrows:
"It was nice to win again with Derek getting a victory on the Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the first Superbike race. Derek was a close second in race two and it would have been the icing on the cake to win it, but fair play to Derek McGee because it was a fantastic race that could have gone either way. It was a good performance by Derek and we’re now in a fairly good shape heading into the North West 200, where Derek will ride Suzuki GSX-R1000 machinery in the Superbike and Superstock classes.
"For Tom, it was another big learning curve at the weekend. It’s difficult to be on the pace straight away at an Irish National road race but Tom took a big chunk of pace out of his times from qualifying on Friday, which showed good progress. I am happy enough with his approach because he is being sensible and not trying to force things too much. His focus is primarily on the Isle of Man TT but before that, he has the North West 200, where he has raced before. He knows the course so that will be an advantage and Tom should be able to hit the ground running. The Suzuki GSX-R1000 is working superbly and the package will only get stronger as the season progresses. Finally, as a team, we would like to pass on our best wishes to Adam McLean and the McAdoo Racing team for a speedy recovery following his accident on Saturday.”
“I felt I had the pace in the second Superbike race but I couldn’t get a free run at the front because every time I got past Derek McGee, he was snapping right back at my heels. It stopped me from getting into my rhythm and I might have been able to pull a gap if I could’ve stayed ahead of him for the lap, but he hit straight back every time. I’m not too disappointed because it was a great race in front of big crowds, and it’s always nice to be involved in a race like that.
"I managed to get a bit of a gap in the first Superbike race after passing Derek at the end and it went to plan perfectly. The stones were a bit of an issue out there and it made life difficult when you were sitting on someone’s back wheel, but other than that it was a good day. The Suzuki GSX-R1000 is going really well and we’ll have another chance to work on the set-up of the bike at the North West 200 before we go to the Isle of Man TT.”
“I enjoyed Tandragee and I was able to get more time on the bikes compared to Cookstown because it’s a much longer track. It’s like a mini TT really and it was a mega place to race around. I’m just learning the bikes all the time and trying to get used to the extra power of the Suzuki GSX-R1000 because I don’t have much experience on a ‘thousand’.
“For me, the main events at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT, so it’s been in the back of my head not to do anything stupid and risk injuring myself at this point in the season. The Supersport class is probably my best class at the moment but I improved my times every time I rode the bikes at Tandragee, which is positive. I missed the North West 200 last year but I’ve been there before, so it shouldn’t take me too long to get back up to speed and it will be more good testing time on the bikes before the TT.”
Pictures: Pacemaker Press.
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