Excitement was building at Cookstown 100 before the grand final race began. Derek Mcgee, William Dunlop and Derek Sheils all got top starts in what was a scintillating start to the blue riband race at this years Cookstown 100. William Dunlop produced his best form of the day to move to the front on the Tyco Suzuki by TAS superbike as lap two began whilst Mcgee and Sheils battled over second place on the road.
Photo courtesy of Rod Neill
As on time Dan Kneen was producing a fantastic display and was right in the mix as lap three began. The Manx rider who has lapped at the Isle of Man TT at over 127 mph has adapted superbly to the Orritor road race circuit at Cookstown this year, by lap five he was in the lead!
It was quickly becoming a straight fight for victory between Kneen and William Dunlop as Derek Mcgee and Derek Sheils where still close together battling over third position. On lap six out front the gap was down to under 0.5 of a second, could Dunlop score his first victory for Tyco Suzuki by TAS or could Kneen achieve a remarkable race win for Cookstown/Burrows Engineering.
All questions where answered on the final lap as William Dunlop crossed the line but had he won, the answer was no as Dan Kneen sensationally recorded grand final race win on his debut at Cookstown 100. A truly stunning performance from the talented road racer who’s victory was fully deserved.
William Dunlop had to settle for second place, agonisingly only 0.3 of a second behind. Derek Mcgee acquired third place 0.2 of a second in front of Derek Shiels, in all a good days racing for both riders. Michael Sweeney finished in fifth place same as in the open race, John Walsh was a fine sixth whilst Alan Bonner produced a fine performance on his CBR 1000 Honda Fireblade to acquire seventh place finish.
Seamus Elliott, Shaun Anderson and Davy Morgan rounded out the top 10. Robert Wilson finished in 12th place on the Stoddart racing R6 Yamaha, Daley Mathison produced a solid performance to finish in 16th place on the Hol Taj/Team classic Suzuki superbike and Callum Laidlaw finished 17th in a race which saw a amazing win on his debut at Cookstown 100 for Dan Kneen.