Tandragee 100: Derek Sheils off to winning start on John Burrows' Suzuki

Derek Sheils leads Derek McGee and William Dunlop in the first Superbike race at the Tandragee 100 on Saturday.
Derek Sheils leads Derek McGee and William Dunlop in the first Superbike race at the Tandragee 100 on Saturday.

Dublin rider Derek Sheils made a winning start to the new 2017 Irish road racing season with a victory in the first Superbike race at the Around-A-Pound Tandragee 100 on Saturday.

Sheils, riding John Burrows’ Cookstown B.E. Racing Suzuki, was never headed as he powered away at the front on the GSX-R1000 in the six-lap opener.

Derek McGee on his way to victory on his Yamaha in the Supersport race at the Tandragee 100.

Derek McGee on his way to victory on his Yamaha in the Supersport race at the Tandragee 100.

The reigning Irish Superbike roads champion went on the stretch his lead on each lap and won in the end by 14 seconds from William Dunlop, who was riding the Mar-Train Yamaha Superstock machine.

Dunlop was nine seconds ahead of Mullingar rider Derek McGee on his Kawasaki Superstock machine, who completed the top three places.

Skerries man Michael Sweeney, Alan Bonner on his BMW and veteran Davy Morgan from Saintfield were the top six.

Guy Martin crashed out unhurt on his Honda Racing Superstock machine after a coming together with Paul Jordan on lap one at Marlacoo corner.

Meanwhile, McGee streaked away to win the Supersport 600 race on his Yamaha, which was delayed after rain began to fall around the 5.3-mile course.

In damp conditions, McGee led all the way to cross the line with more than 16 seconds in hand over William Dunlop on his IC Racing/Caffrey Yamaha.

Superbike winner Derek Sheils made it onto the podium on the Cookstown B.E. Racing Honda in third, some 23 seconds behind Dunlop. Sheils narrowly held off Paul Jordan to take third by three tenths of a second.

Graham Kennedy, Welshman Paul Williams and Michael Weldon rounded out the first six places.