Letter W’s representation in Road Racing News Alphabet Road Racing series, is led by the ‘Race of The South’ the Walderstown Road Races.
The 2016 Grand Final encounter at Walderstown saw Derek Sheils and 19 times TT winner Michael Dunlop, go head to head for feature race spoils.
My report from closing in on five years ago (with a few alterations) on the battle between the most successful Irish national roads, Superbike exponents of the past ten years, reads as follows:
(Article first published July 10th 2016)
Derek Sheils recorded grand final success at Walderstown, following in my opinion one of the best performances of his pure road racing career to date.
Battling his way to the front, he showcased yet again today on the Cookstown BE Racing GSX-R 1000 Suzuki, why many believe in the future, he has the talent to become an International road race winner.
Photo by Baylon McCaughey
Speaking post race a delighted John Burrows, BE Racing Team Manager stated the following about Sheils momentous triumph:
“Derek and the boys did a great job in County Westmeath. In the two big bike races Derek once again proved he can challenge Michael Dunlop and to win the Grand Final is a great feather for Derek’s cap.
Well done to the boys for the wheel change during the warm-up laps, it proves a good crew can influence results.
I’m sure Derek would have liked to have won the Superbike Championship race too but second place keeps him well on course for the Irish superbike crown.”
Michael Dunlop on his own teams S1000RR BMW, had to settle for the first time in a while for second behind Sheils, still it’s been another hugely productive meeting for the Mountain Course lap record holder.
Completing the top three finishers was YZF R1M Yamaha mounted William Dunlop, the reigning Duke Road Race Rankings champion is chipping away with the potential of his Yamaha mount.
Derek McGee fourth, culminated a top class days of roads competition for him, which included winning the Supersport race on the NJ Doyne backed YZF R6 Yamaha.
Going into Walderstown, amongst the most in form riders on the roads, Derek Sheils Grand final victory is without a doubt amongst the main highlights of his 2016 roads campaign to date.
Increasing his lead in the Irish Road Race Superbike Championship, he’s on course to join a select group of riders to have won the prestigious Championship more than once.
Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou