Dan takes the win at the Tandragee 100
Mar-Train Racing’s Dan Kneen produced a blistering performance to make the perfect start to his 2016 road racing schedule with a commanding victory in the feature Superbike race at the Around-a-Pound Tandragee 100.
The feature race was red-flagged and re-started over five laps after a crash on lap two, which was later reported as a ‘minor incident’ involving Joe Newbould.
Following a short delay, Kneen made up for the disappointment of being hit with a one-minute penalty for jumping the start of the earlier Open Superbike race, powering away at the front on the YZF-R1 to win comfortably in the end by more than six seconds from Dublin man Derek Sheils (Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki).
Newcomer Malachi Mitchell-Thomas, a treble winner at the Mid Antrim 150, impressed again as he rounded out the rostrum places in third, 12.8 seconds down on the flying Kneen.
William Dunlop, making his roads debut on the MSS Kawasaki Superstock machine, was next in fifth followed closely by Ryan Farquhar (IEG BMW), who appeared to have an issue with his S1000RR after setting the pace in the original race before it was halted due to the red-flag incident involving Newbould.
The Dungannon racer was declared the winner of the Open Superbike race earlier in the day when Kneen – who crossed the line first – and runner-up Sheils were penalised by 60 seconds for jumping the start, knocking them down to 10th and 11th positions respectively. A counter-appeal was launched, which was due to be held by the race stewards on Saturday evening.
William Dunlop was promoted to second place in the revised standings of the Open Superbike race behind Farquhar, with Mitchell-Thomas third from Michael Sweeney.
Ballymoney man Dunlop and the CD-IC Racing Yamaha proved an unbeatable combination in the Supersport race, hunting down early leaders Kneen and Mitchell-Thomas to hit the front with three laps remaining.
The 30-year-old put the hammer down on the sixth and final lap to shake off Kneen, winning by 1.2 seconds at the finish with 20-year-old Bolton prospect Mitchell-Thomas on the podium again in third place on the Burrows Honda, five seconds behind.
Farquhar and Mitchell-Thomas served up a repeat of their Mid Antrim tussle in a thrilling Supertwins race, which went right down to the wire.
The wily Ulster rider made his move on the final lap to take the lead, although Mitchell-Thomas launched one final attack at the last corner before running wide as Farquhar kept his cool to nip up the inside for another win on the SGS KMR Kawasaki.
Derek Sheils made it two of John Burrows’ Supertwin machines on the rostrum as he finished in third in a rare outing in the 650cc class.
James Chawke and Joe Newbould were the respective winners of the Junior and Senior Support races, while Rhys Hardisty won the 250cc event from Davy Morgan by 0.2 seconds.
In the 125cc race, Sam Wilson took the spoils from Adam McLean and Paul Robinson, while Gary Dunlop finished sixth on his Tandragee debut behind Derek McGee.
Czech rider Michael Dokoupil was a narrow winner of the 400cc race from Farquhar by only two-tenths-of-a-second, who was riding his single cylinder 450cc Kawasaki.