KDM Cookstown 100
KDM HIRE COOKSTOWN 100 ROAD RACES:
The opening Road Race of 2014, the KDM Hire Cookstown 100 in Co-Tyrone, proved to be a difficult day for Hotties Road Race pairing of Michael Pearson and Paul Gartland, as both struggled with machine gremlins with Gartland on the Hotties Road Racing GSXR600 Suzuki, putting in some excellent results in a field of riders on Superbike machinery.
For Pearson however on the NEI Motorsports Kawasaki's, unforeseen technical issues meant that the Lisburn rider failed to finish in the second Supersport 600 race and in both the Superbike races held on Saturday.
Pearson did however record a fine 6th place finish in Fridays Supersport 600 Invitation race on the NEI ZX6R Kawasaki with Pearson recording a fastest lap which was just under 0.5 seconds of race winner Derek Sheils best time of 1m26.987s.
In the Cookstown & District Council Supersport 600 Race on Saturday, Pearson completed six of the scheduled eight laps before his chain snapped on the NEI Kawasaki, something that was totally out of Pearson's control.
In Saturdays Royal Hotel Open Race, Pearson again had to sit out most of the race after his NEI Motorsports Kawasaki ZX10 developed an electrical fault which would rule the Co-Antrim rider out of the feature race of the day the KDM Hire Superbike Race which was won for a first time by a newcomer, in the form of Manxman Dan Kneen on the BE engineering Suzuki.
Fermanagh's Paul Gartland on the Hotties Racing GSXR 600 Suzuki took a trio of top ten finishes.
In the Braeside Bar Supersport 600 B Race, Gartland took a fine 6th place finish on the Hotties Suzuki, before finishing in 8th place in the Royal Hotel Open B Race, and in doing so came home as the third 600cc machine.
In the KDM Hire Cookstown 100 B race, Gartland again was the third 600 machine home in a field of Superbikes. A steady performance saw Gartland take 7th place, and second in Group B.
Michael Pearson: "there is not much you can do about days like that.....It happens. To have a chain snap on the 600, well no-one can allow for that...that's racing. The Superbike issue was a bit disappointing. We are still unsure as to the problem, but it is most likely electrical. Maybe a broken wire, a bad connection.... anything. The bike is going to be rewired this week, and it will be ready for next weekends Thundersport round at Snetterton".
Paul Gartland: "I am pleased enough with how the Cookstown went. The wee bike is going well and Cookstown is not one of my favourite places. This weekend its the Tandragee 100 and I like that circuit as its a real road racing track. I just want to take things easy to start the year off and to collect some valuable Irish Championship points".
Photos by Jackie Henry