After National wins at Tandragee and Cookstown, Cookstown Burrows Engineering Racing went in search of International glory at the North West 200 and with their rider Derek Sheils at the top of his game they came away with no less than four top ten finishes. Sheils and his Cookstown Burrows Engineering Suzuki GSXR 1000 were a force to be reckoned with in the two Superbike encounters on Saturday. In the first one, Sheils finished a superb sixth, right behind Glenn Irwin and Peter Hickman and just four seconds away from third placed Lee Johnston. In the NW200 Superbike race Sheils finished tenth, just losing ninth to William Dunlop. Sheils’ other two top ten finishes came on Thursday evening. In the Supertwins race the Dubliner finished a fine fifth and was the leading Irish rider on his Cookstown Burrows Engineering Racing 650 Kawasaki. In the Superstock 1000 race Sheils proved that the team’s new Suzuki GSXR 1000 machine has loads of potential by finishing a superb seventh, just a fraction of a second behind James Hillier. Sheils was robbed of a fourth place in Saturday’s Supertwins race by a technical problem that forced him to retire at Metropole while he didn’t start the Superstock 1000 race because of a failed quickshifter.
Team owner John Burrows spoke after the meeting had finished: “We came to the North West targeting top ten finishes in the 1000cc classes and a top six Supertwins result so it’s mission accomplished. Fifth in Thursday’s Supertwins race was our best result but I’m more pleased by Derek’s tremendous sixth in the first Superbike race when he was in contention for the final rostrum position. I’m also delighted how well the new Suzuki GSXR 1000 performed in the Superstock class and I’m sure it will get better with development. “I’d like to thank Derek and the whole team for all their hard work this week and I’m relieved that the week passed with without any very serious incidents. Kevin Thomas was with us and Malachi was often in our thoughts. Malachi is gone a year now but he left us with some great memories.”
Sheils commented: “There depth of quality in every race was amazing so to come away with four top ten finishes is very satisfying. International top ten finishes are not easy to find. I’ll enjoy a celebration now but come next week I’ll be starting to focus on the Isle of Man TT where we will be looking for more top ten results. It won’t be easy but the Cookstown Burrows Engineering bikes are all competitive and I’ll give it my best shot.
— Gaskrank (@Gaskrank) May 10, 2017
Photo credit Baylon McCaughey