Finishing second in Road Racing News top ten riders of the 2018 roads season is, Irish Road Race Super Twin, Supersport and Superbike champion Derek McGee.
It’s been a quite tumultuous, stellar, sensational year of roads competition for the amiable McGee.
Formidable aboard his own teams Superstock Kawasaki, the B&W Racing Kawasaki and the proven KMR Kawasaki mount, he proved unquestionably the man to beat within the Irish national roads scene in 2018.
Supersport, Super Twin victor at the Around A Pound Tandragee 100, the newly reincarnated Enniskillen Road Races saw Mullingar’s McGee prove unbeatable.
Scooping a tremendous five wins in a day, including clinching the inaugural Richard Britton Memorial feature race, his exploits at Enniskillen backed up his growing reputation as a truly ‘World Class’ closed roads exponent.
The popular Walderstown ‘Race of The South’ meet would yield four victories, including dominant Open, Grand Final triumphs as ZX10 Kawasaki range stalwart McGee proved to strong for the chasing pack including next generation roads star, Davey Todd.
More sustained success would follow at the Faugheen 50 Road Races, as he claimed for the second time this year five wins in a day, following another series of ultra accomplished, faultless performances.
In between his momentous displays at national events, the North West 200 and TT Races also yielded a selection of prodigious moments.
After quietly impressing at the Vauxhall International North West 200, which saw him seal a very creditable top ten finish within the opening Superstock race, plus show strong form aboard the high spec KMR Kawasaki, various astute roads aficionados were tipping him to enjoy a very productive TT 2018.
Returning to Mountain Course competition after a year’s absence, race week at the record-breaking meeting began with a 15th place finish in the RST Superbike race.
Monday of race week would yield mixed fortunes. The opening four lap Monster Energy Supersport encounter saw him finish an extremely creditable 11th, finishing under two seconds behind tenth place finisher, Dafabet Devitt Racing’s Ivan Lintin.
A first non finish of race week followed in the Royal London 360 Quantum Superstock race, as attentions quickly turned to Wednesday’s Mountain Course race action.
After another non finish, this time in the second Monster Energy Supersport race, the good times and some returned within the Bennetts Lightweight race.
Contending throughout for class honours, the drama filled race would conclude with McGee acquiring a superb second on the results sheet, as he joined in style the TT podium finishers circle.
Full of praise for Ryan Farquhar, the performance of the KMR Kawasaki twin, you could sense how much his first TT rostrum finish meant to him, in the ensuing race press conference.
Although race week would conclude with an early retirement from the showpiece Pokerstars Senior race, nothing could take away from an overall extremely positive race week for McGee.
Out of luck at the MCE Insurance Ulster Grand Prix, having been involved in an incident with Seamus Elliott during the opening Superstock/Superbike qualifying session, many thought that was that for 2018 on the roads for the ‘Mullingar Missile’.
Surprising, amazing roads insiders, quite incredibly he was back in action, despite the various injuries sustained at Dundrod, at the East Coast Racing Festival.
Banking a third Irish Road Race Championship title alongside the previously already wrapped up Super Twin, Superbike crowns, the opening Supersport race saw him show true grit, heroism, extreme courage to take his total of road race victories for 2018, to 18.
All but confirmed as this years Duke Road Race Rankings champion, one but cannot not admire McGee’s achievements, sustained great form, peerless performances throughout 2018, which although underestimated by some, are greatly lauded by the true enthusiasts, supporters of road racing.
Words by Stevie Rial