SHEILS CLEANS UP THEN BUYS HOOVER!
Suzuki man dominates major Irish event – and buys vacuum to celebrate
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)