Suzuki man dom­i­nates ma­jor Ir­ish event – and buys vac­uum to cel­e­brate

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - By Stephen Dav­i­son MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

Derek Sheils scored a su­per­bike hat-trick at the 2017 Skerries 100 on his Bur­rows Suzuki – and bought his wife a new vac­uum cleaner to cel­e­brate! The 33-year-old had promised his other half, Ali­cia, the new house­hold ap­pli­ance if he got a Skerries win and af­ter tak­ing vic­tory in all three big bike races there could be no ex­cuses.

“I kept my word on the deal,” Sheils smiled af­ter­wards. “My main fo­cus is the big bike so it was good to get the su­per­bike wins in both Open races and the Grand Fi­nal.”

Skerries is the premier road race in the Repub­lic of Ire­land but the or­gan­is­ers were de­nied the crowd­pulling pres­ence in 2017 of Se­nior TT win­ning, Michael Dun­lop, who was head­lin­ing a spe­cial Dun­lop fam­ily trib­ute along with his brother, Wil­liam at the Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed (see page 10). For those fans who did pack the hedges around the 2.92-mile County Dublin cir­cuit though, it was a day of spec­tac­u­lar ac­tion.

In the open­ing Su­per­bike en­counter Sheils led from start to fin­ish with Derek Mcgee fin­ish­ing run­ner up on his ZX-10R ahead of lo­cal favourite Michael Sweeney (MJR BMW). The Dubliner cleared off again in the sec­ond Open race, win­ning by 22 sec­onds from Sweeney and led the Grand Fi­nal be­fore it was red flagged for rain. Sheils dom­i­nated the restart though, win­ning from Mcgee and Sweeney.

That su­per­bike tre­ble brings Sheils’ vic­tory tally to six at the venue and of­fered some con­so­la­tion for a mis­er­able TT 2017 where he suf­fered four DNFS from four starts and wasn’t able to com­plete one fly­ing lap dur­ing race week.

Shiels had trav­elled to the is­land full of hope af­ter vic­to­ries at Tan­dragee and Cook­stown plus a fine sixth place Su­per­bike race fin­ish at the North West 200 on the Bur­rows Suzuki but those hopes were dashed by break­downs in the Su­per­bike, Su­per­stock, Light­weight and Se­nior races.

“It was a dis­ap­point­ing TT and to­day makes up for it a bit,” Sheils said.

“Al­though it was good to get the su­per­bike wins, I think the race I en­joyed most to­day was the 600,” he added af­ter be­ing de­nied a fourth Skerries tri­umph by just 0.012 sec in the Su­pers­port event to arch ri­val, Mcgee ( Yamaha).

“It has been a while since I have been at the sharp end on a 600 but we had a new en­gine in the Honda for Skerries and that made us stronger.”

Mcgee led un­til the penul­ti­mate cir­cuit of the seven-lap­per when Sheils nipped past on the brakes at Glasshouses. “I think that was a lap too early and Derek even­tu­ally out­dragged me on the run to the line,” Sheils said.

Mcgee added wins in the 125cc and 650cc races to claim the Man of the Meet­ing award. In the 125cc event his Honda was pre­pared by Gary Dun­lop, the son of Joey. Dun­lop fin­ished sec­ond on a sim­i­lar ma­chine to claim his first road race podium on the eve of the 17th an­niver­sary of his fa­ther’s death.

Three vic­to­ries and he’s off to buy some ex­cit­ing white goods to cel­e­brate Sheils leads Mcgee, Sweeney (BMW) and Mor­gan (Suzuki)

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