Full wrap up from qualifying at the SGS International Armoy Road Races.
Following on from his supersport successes at Walderstown and Faugheen, Derek McGee continued his great form on the Noel Doyne backed YZF R6 Yamaha in supersport qualifying today at Armoy.
Derek lapped at 1 minute 47.046 seconds to finish quickest by under 0.2 of a second over nearest challenger Derek Sheils, Cookstown BE Racing CBR 600 Honda.
Pre race favourite William Dunlop was third fastest in front of his brother Michael Dunlop, who made it three YZF R6 Yamaha’s in the first four placing’s in qualifying.
B&W Racing’s Paul Jordan fifth quickest lead the Honda challenge, he was followed by Michael Sweeney on the Tracblast backed YZF R6 Yamaha.
Next up was Mar Train Racing’s Dan Kneen, the top ten on the supersport qualifying leader board was concluded by Christian Elkin and fellow rising stars Adam McLean and Darryl Tweed.
Armoy – Supersport Qualifying Results:
1 Derek McGee 1.47.046
2 Derek Sheils 1.47.239
3 William Dunlop 1.48.059
4 Michael Dunlop 1.49.048
5 Paul Jordan 1.49.960
6 Michael Sweeney 1.50.130
7 Dan Kneen 1.50.333
8 Christian Elkin 1.50.872
9 Adam McLean 1.51.829
10 Darryl Tweed 1.52.223
As many anticipated Michael Dunlop qualified on pole position for the open race, at Armoy. But one aspect no one could have predicted is how close it was for the 13 times TT winner to finish quickest, in a gripping qualifying session.
The TT Races lap record holder, set a lap time of 1 minute 44.057 seconds to finish fastest, by just 0.029 of a second! over recently crowned Irish road race superbike champion Derek Sheils on the Cookstown BE Racing GSX-R 1000 Suzuki.
Derek McGee, Noel Williamson Racing S1000RR BMW was third quickest, William Dunlop and his own teams YZF R1M Yamaha, lead the Yamaha challenge in fourth in front of Mar Train Racing’s Dan Kneen.
Michael Sweeney finished sixth fastest in front of Michal Dokoupil, competing this weekend for Wilson Craig Racing.
Gareth Keys impressed with the eighth quickest time, Davy Morgan and Adam McLean rounded out the top ten in an ultra close fought qualifying session, which raises the prospect of an ultra close, exciting and momentous open race on Saturday.
Armoy – Open Race Qualifying Results:
1 Michael Dunlop 1.44.057
2 Derek Sheils 1.44.086
3 Derek McGee 1.44.876
4 WillIam Dunlop 1.45.192
5 Dan Kneen 1.45.815
6 Michael Sweeney 1.46.776
7 Michal Dokoupil 1.50.443
8 Gareth Keys 1.50.844
9 Davy Morgan 1.51.245
10 Adam McLean 1.51.503
Building up to the super twins encounter at the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix, Derek McGee ended a great day of qualifying at Armoy by topping the time sheets in super twins qualifying.
Securing lap time of 1 minute 52.898 seconds, he enjoyed a quite momentous first competitive outing on the Cookstown BE Racing ER6 Kawasaki.
Cookstown BE Racing team mate Derek Sheils finished third quickest behind James Cowton, who showed top class pace on the Mcadoo Racing/Gortreagh Printing backed ER6 Kawasaki.
Michael Sweeney secured fourth position in qualifying, as Christian Elkin and Paul Jordan both showed highly accomplished form in finishing fifth and sixth quickest.
Finalising the top ten in qualifying was Michal Dokoupil, Andy Farrell, Shirlaws Motorcycles backed Kris Duncan and Darryl Tweed.
Armoy – Super Twins Qualifying Results:
1 Derek McGee 1.52.898
2 James Cowton 1.53.207
3 Derek Sheils 1.53.215
4 Michael Sweeney 1.53.224
5 Christian Elkin 1.54.116
6 Paul Jordan 1.54.627
7 Michal Dokoupil 1.55.783
8 Andy Farrell 1.57.882
9 Kris Duncan 1.58.042
10 Darryl Tweed 2.00.222
Alongside the supersport, superbike and super twin classes, many a top draw performance was seen in the additional qualifying sessions.
Christian Elkin was on lap record pace in 125/Moto 3 qualifying whilst Neil Kernohan, Logan Racing RS250 Honda, finished overall fastest from the 250/400 class.
Darryl Tweed lead the 400 challenge, as Philip Crosbie (Junior Support), Barry Davidson (Junior Classic) and John Horgan (Senior Support) spearheaded their respective classes.
There was no race of legends qualifying session, reasons why not announced at present.
Coming up this evening at the SGS International Armoy Road Races, is the opening race of the meeting, the opening supersport race.
Words by Stevie Rial