Derek Sheils claims Superbike pole at KDM Hire Cookstown 100

Derek Sheils sealed pole in the Superbike class on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Suzuki during practice at the KDM Hire Cookstown 100 on Friday. Pictures: Pacemaker Press.
Derek Sheils sealed pole in the Superbike class on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Suzuki during practice at the KDM Hire Cookstown 100 on Friday. Pictures: Pacemaker Press.

Derek Sheils claimed pole position in the Superbike class at the KDM Hire Cookstown 100 on Friday.

Sheils, unbeaten around the 2.1-mile Orritor course in the feature races since 2016, quickly hit the top of the time sheets on the new-look Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Suzuki.

Derek McGee was second fastest in the Superbike class and claimed pole for the Supersport and Moto3/125GP races.

Derek McGee was second fastest in the Superbike class and claimed pole for the Supersport and Moto3/125GP races.

The Dublin man clocked a time of 1m 25.164s on the GSX-R1000 to bag pole by 0.134s from Derek McGee on his 1000cc Kawasaki.

In third was Tobermore’s Adam McLean on the McAdoo Kawasaki with a time in 1m 26.616s, who was closely followed by Paul Jordan (Alistair Russell Yamaha R6).

Michael Sweeney was fifth fastest on the MJR BMW ahead of Thomas Maxwell.

The Open A Superbike race, due to be held on Friday evening after practice, was postponed until Saturday due to wet weather.

In the Supersport class, reigning Irish champion McGee put down a marker on the Lady B Kawasaki with a hot lap in 1m 25.753s, which put him four-tenths clear of young prospect McLean.

Magherafelt man Jordan was a further 0.4s back on his Yamaha followed by Skerries rider Sweeney and Sheils on the Roadhouse Macau Racing Yamaha.

Newcomer Tom Weeden was 14th on the Burrrows Engineering/RK Racing Yamaha, with fellow Cookstown rookie Adrian Harrison in 12th.

McGee was also fastest in the Moto3/125GP class, taking pole comfortably by almost three seconds on his ex-Moto3 Grand Prix machine from road racing stalwart Nigel Moore. Kevin Fitzpatrick was third fastest ahead of Sam Grief, who is riding a Moto3 Honda for Ballymoney man Paul Robinson this season.

Sweeney took pole in the Supertwin class - with the first qualifying session held in the dry - 0.2 seconds ahead of McLean. The second session was held on wet roads, when reigning champion McGee led the way by 2.6 seconds from Neil Kernohan.

The Royal Hotel Open B race was held, with Ben Rea clinching in the damp conditions.

Ben Plant won the Junior/Senior Support B race by just 0.2 seconds from James Cottrell.