Derek Sheils claims Superbike pole at KDM Hire Cookstown 100
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.
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.