Gerard Kinghan powers to a double at Kirkistown
Gerard Kinghan swept to a double at the Ulster Superbike Championship at Kirkistown on Saturday.
The Randalstown man has been in scintillating form his season on his Kawasaki ZX-10R and added another two wins to his tally at the County Down venue on the Ards Peninsula.
Kinghan has now established a lead of 120 points in the championship over Alistair Kirk and with three rounds remaining, he has the title safely in the bag barring a major disaster.
The event - promoted by the Belfast & District Club - saw Kinghan run close for the victory in the opening Ards & North Down Borough Council Superbike race by Alistair Kirk and David Haire.
There was little between the trio over the six laps, but it was Kinghan who just had enough in the tank to edge the win by only 0.207 seconds from Kirk on the AKR/McCurry Motorsport BMW.
Haire was right on their tails in third position on his Rope Access Works BMW, four tenths of a second back on race winner Kinghan.
Haire set a new lap record of 98.612mph (55.198s), bettering Cameron Donald’s longstanding record from 2012.
Ryan Gibson (JMC/Gibson Motors Suzuki) crossed the line in fourth position, 5.2 seconds back, with Barry Graham (JMC Roofing Kawasaki) and Stephen McAdoo (Kawasaki) rounding out the top six.
In race two, Kinghan enjoyed a somewhat more comfortable run to victory as he sealed the win by 1.6 seconds.
Kirk again clinched the runner-up spot ahead of Haire, who was three seconds back in third.
Gibson finished fourth again, with Aaron Armstrong slotting into fifth this time on the Hunky Dory Suzuki.
Andrew Murphy (Kawasaki) competed the top six ahead of McAdoo.
In the Supersport class, Jason Lynn was pushed all the way as he chalked up a double.
In race one, Lynn narrowly prevailed on his Walter Bell Yamaha to win by just 0.061 seconds over Mark Conlin (Magic Bell Yamaha), while Christian Elkin was right in the frame as he took the flag in third, 0.8 seconds back on Lynn.
Simon Reid had a fine ride to fourth on the visorshop.com Triumph, with Lee Clarke and Dean Campbell fifth and sixth respectively on their Kawasaki machines.
In the second race, Conlin again rose to the mark as he gave Lynn the most to think about, although once more he had to settle for the runner-up spot, half-a-second back.
Elkin (Bob Wylie Racing Yamaha) was six seconds adrift as he finished third, with Lee
Clarke and Dean Campbell next. Caolan Irwin (Yamaha) took sixth place.
Ballymoney’s Paul Robinson won both Moto3/125GP races, while
Gary McCoy clinched a brace in the Lightweight Supersport races.
The Supertwin races were won by Mark Hanna from Gary McCoy.
Ross Irwin became the fourth member of his famous racing family to don the helmet and leathers as he made his short circuit debut at the event, finishing fourth in both Supertwins races on his Kawasaki.
Meanwhile, Manx rider Dan Sayle was yesterday described as ‘serious but stable’ following a crash in the Lightweight race at the Classic TT last month.
Sayle came off on the first lap at Ballaspur and was left seriously injured but has shown ‘slight improvement’.