After what has felt like an eternity, Irish road racing finally returns next week with the longest running current national roads meeting, the KDM Hire Cookstown 100.
Road Racing News pre-event previews begin with a focus on the Open, Supersport, Grand Final races:
Whilst the two Derek’s Sheils and McGee may be absent, the entry for the Open, Grand Final, Supersport encounters at Cookstown is still filled with world class road racing excellence.
Perennial Orritor Circuit front runners BE Racing, supported again by Richardson Kelly Racing, have a formidable line-up led by Ulster GP Super Twins winner Paul Jordan and rising talent Michael Browne.
Photo by Stephen Davison
Jordan, Browne set to pilot YZF R6 Yamaha, GSX-R 1000 Suzuki machinery, will no question feature strongly in the premier classes as will McAdoo Kawasaki’s Adam McLean.
Standing currently tenth within the National Superstock 600 Championship standings, McLean’s recent outings at Donington and Snetterton allied to various pre season tests, make him one of the most bike fit riders going into action at Cookstown.
Photo by Rod Neill
Last year’s feature Supersport race winner, it wouldn’t surprise many if he claims next week multiple four stroke class honours.
Another anticipated front runner is Martin Jones Racing’s Michael Sweeney. The 2019 roads season proved quite prodigious for Skerries Sweeney, who claimed for the first time the Duke Road Race Rankings, Irish Road Race Supersport Championship titles.
Determined the kick start the new decade of road racing in productive style, he’s likely to head the BMW challenge in the 1000cc encounters whilst his 600 steed is the CM Building supported R6 Yamaha.
Photo by Tommy Vennard
Others to keep an eye include 2018 Newcomers A Manx GP victor Thomas Maxwell, Ballymoney’s Darryl Tweed (Stanley Stewart Racing), Davy Morgan (DM71 Racing), Neil Kernohan.
2009 TT Zero winner Rob Barber, Graham Kennedy, Paul Cranston, David McConnachy, MV Agusta pilot David Murphy, Richard Charlton, Stephen Degnan and current Irish roads Senior Support Champion Tommy Henry.
Newcomers wise, lots of attention will be on national roads debutant, former BSB points finisher Carl Phillips, who links up with the experienced PRF Racing team.
750 Suzuki mounted for his maiden Cookstown tenure, Phillips has the undoubted race craft, talent to gel nicely with the much loved Orritor circuit.
Added notable Cookstown newcomers include Danny Tomlinson Racing’s Dan Harrison, IRRC regular David Datzer (MTP Racing), James Ford, race winner from last year’s Scarborough Gold Cup Richard Telford and the first ever Russian competitor, Danila Krasniuk.
Words by Stevie Rial