KMR Kawasaki maintain unbeaten start to 2019

KMR Kawasaki maintained their unbeaten start to the 2019 road racing season with Derek McGee taking victory in Saturday’s Supertwin race at the Tandragee 100 road races.

With good conditions for both qualifying on Friday evening and the race on Saturday, the team opted to try their new 2019 engine during the former but despite producing more power and more torque, an issue with the clutch slipping and some chassis settings meant McGee qualified in second place although he was only 0.218s off pole position man Adam McLean.

The duo had enjoyed a battle royale at the previous weekend’s Cookstown 100 road races with Mullingar’s McGee coming out on top and he was determined to have the same outcome at Tandragee, his opening lap seeing him open up a half second lead over the similarly-mounted McLean.

Lap two saw McGee continue to control affairs from the front as he added another four tenths of a second to his advantage. Third time around the fast 5.34-mile circuit saw Derek continue to lead his younger rival and as the duo went into their fourth lap, his lead on the black and orange KMR Kawasaki was almost exactly a second.

Unfortunately, the red flag came out on lap four as McLean crashed out suffering arm, shoulder and pelvic injuries with the result taken at the end of three laps giving Derek the win over Michael Sweeney. With a maximum of 50 points from the two races held so far, he now holds a 14-point lead over Sweeney in the Irish Road Racing Championship.

It was another excellent day’s racing for Derek as he took no less than four victories on the day with further wins coming in the Grand Final, Supersport and Moto 3 races.

Ryan Farquhar, Team Owner: “KMR Kawasaki always go racing to win and whilst it’s nice to get another victory, we never like to see races end with a red flag after another rider’s misfortune and everyone connected with the team wishes Adam a speedy recovery. As a team, our weekend went well but after the few wee issues we encountered on Friday evening during qualifying where we didn’t have an awful lot of time to get the set up right, we reverted back to last year’s bike for the race.”

“Derek made an excellent start to grab the lead on the opening lap and with a bit of oil and cement dust down on the circuit, he ran a good pace and just went as quick as he needed to, controlling things from the front. Adam was never too far behind but Derek was doing a great job and keeping him at arm’s length so it’s a shame the race ended with a red flag after Adam’s off. Apart from Adam's accident, it was a good day for KMR and with plenty more information, we now have a few more things to work on ahead of the North West 200 where we’ll be firmly aiming at two wins in the two races.”

The team now turn their attention to the International North West 200 road races with practice getting underway on the 8.9-mile circuit that links the towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine on Tuesday 14th May.


Winning return to Southern 100 for Dafabet Devitt Racing

Dafabet Devitt Racing made their return to the Isle of Man this week for the annual Southern 100 road races and substitute rider Dominic Herbertson ensured it was a successful visit once more for the Bristol-based team as he won both of the Supertwin races.

With regular rider Paul Jordan forced to withdraw from the event due to a thumb injury sustained in a recent crash at Anglesey, Herbertson, who previously rode for the team at last year’s Ulster Grand Prix, was drafted to ride the 650cc Kawasaki which Jordan had taken to an excellent fourth place in last month’s Lightweight TT.

With good conditions for the majority of the week around the 4.25-mile Billown circuit, 28-year old Herbertson qualified in a good third place behind Jamie Coward and Rob Hodson with the opening six-lap race taking place on Wednesday evening. Coward set the early pace but when he crashed out at Church Bends on lap three, fortunately without injury, Dominic went head to head with Hodson for the remainder of the race.

There was nothing to choose between the two, with just two tenths of a second separating them at half race distance, but it got even closer in the closing stages as seen by their respective fastest laps, Dominic’s at 103.385mph and Hodson at 103.386mph!

However, it was Dominic who was ahead when it mattered most but as they flashed across the line at the conclusion of the six, hard fought laps it was almost a dead heat as he took the win from the similarly-mounted Hodson by just 0.02s!

Thursday saw the best conditions of the week and, with Coward and his team unable to get the bike repaired in time, the race followed a similar pattern as Dominic and Hodson again fought for supremacy. Just like the previous evening, there was little to choose between the two riders but on the fifth lap, Wigan’s Hodson was forced to retire which allowed Herbertson to have a more comfortable run in to the flag.

The Hexham rider duly took the chequered flag for his second win of the week, his winning margin on this occasion almost twenty seconds as Michael Sweeney and Frenchman Xavier Denis completed the podium in second and third.

Dominic Herbertson: “I was very lucky to race the Dafabet Devitt Racing Supertwin due to the misfortune of Paul's crash at Anglesey and I’m very glad to hear that he’ll be back racing for the team in time for the Ulster GP but, at the same time, I’m delighted to have got the opportunity as the bike is amazing!”

“The chassis, the engine and the braking power blended into an incredible mix – it felt more like a 250 GP bike on steroids! All of the hard work that Ivan Lintin and the team have put into the bike and the years of development really have paid off. Like I say, I’m delighted to have had the opportunity and I'm over the moon to repay the team with a couple of wins.”

Ben Constable, Team Co-owner: “After such a good showing at the TT, it was obviously a shame Paul was unable to take part in the Southern 100 but we were determined to come to the meeting in some capacity as we’ve been coming here every year since 2012 and Dominic stepped in at the last minute. He’d never sat on the bike until first practice on Monday evening but we know he can ride a Twin and he went on to do a superb job in both races with two excellent wins.”

“He had to work hard in both races and Rob pushed him all the way so if he hadn’t have retired in the second race, it would’ve have been another dash to the line! It was great to work with Dom again and also great to come away with two wins so a big thanks to him and also to his regular Davies Motorsport team for loaning him to us for the two races. We’re now looking forward to the Ulster Grand Prix where Paul will be back to full fitness and with us for all of the races.”

The team now turn their attentions to next month’s Ulster Grand Prix with the meeting taking place on August 7-10.

Mike Kerruish Plumbing Supertwins race (6 laps)
1 Dominic Herbertson (Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki)
2 Rob Hodson (Kawasaki)
3 Jonathan Perry (Kawasaki)
4 Xavier Denis (Kawasaki)
5 Dave Moffitt (Kawasaki)
6 Michael Evans (Kawasaki)

Ocean Motor Village Supertwins race (6 laps)
1 Dominic Herbertson (Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki)
2 Michael Sweeney (Kawasaki)
3 Xavier Denis (Kawasaki)
4 Michael Evans (Kawasaki)
5 Stephen McKnight (Suzuki)
6 Dave Moffitt (Kawasaki)


Excellent day at the TT for Jordan and Dafabet Devitt Racing

Paul Jordan and the Dafabet Devitt Racing team enjoyed an excellent day of racing at the Isle of Man TT races on Thursday with the Northern Ireland rider taking a career best finish around the Mountain Course of fourth place in the Lightweight race. This followed up the 11th and 14th place finishes he’d taken earlier in the day in the Supersport and Superstock races respectively.

The two-lap Lightweight race, held in the evening, was the third of the three races for Paul in what was an extremely busy day and a good opening lap of 118.920mph on the 650cc Kawasaki put him in a fine sixth place.

However, as the race wore on, the 27-year old got quicker and quicker and he overhauled both Gary Johnson and Stefano Bonetti on the second lap. Indeed, a final lap speed of 121.248mph, the third fastest lap of the race, saw him take a brilliant fourth place and finish just five seconds adrift of third place rider Lee Johnston.

Paul’s first race of the day had come in the two-lap Supersport race which, having originally been scheduled for 10.45am on Wednesday, was cut from four laps to two and eventually got underway at 12.55pm.

An opening lap of 122.920mph on the Kawasaki ZX-6RR put Paul in a fine tenth place and although he slipped back to 11th at the conclusion of the race, his second lap of 123.545mph was his quickest ever around the 37.73-mile circuit on a 600cc machine. It gave him his second silver replica from two races but he also contested the three-lap Superstock race on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR where he started from the 30th start position.

Despite having to overtake a significant amount of traffic, his first lap of 125.052mph put him in a strong 15th place and after a good pit stop, he moved up the order to 14th. A final lap comfortably in excess of 124mph enabled him to maintain 14th place for his fifth top twenty finish from his five race starts so far this week.

Paul Jordan: “I was a bit tense before the Lightweight race as I knew it was my best chance of a top six result so it took me a bit of time to get going but once I did, the bike felt really good. When Jamie Coward came by me, I tucked in behind him and used him as a reference and it dragged me along a bit. He was faster than me in some bits although I felt a bit quicker than him in others but he got by Peter Hickman quicker than me and I lost the tow.”

“Overall, I’m really happy with fourth place and a 121mph lap and to be fair, I’m happy with the day as a whole and am pleased with my results. I learn more and more each time I go out and I settled in quickly to the 600cc race where I posted my best ever lap in the class so I’ve got to be pleased with 11th place. The Superstock race isn’t my strongest class but I managed another 125mph+ lap and 14th was a good solid result so I can’t complain at all with how today’s gone.’

Ben Constable, Team Co-owner: “We’d have taken a top five finish in the Lightweight race before we came here so to finish in fourth place is brilliant. Paul hadn’t ridden the bike until he got here and with very few laps in practice due to the weather, he’s lapped at more than 121mph – which not many people have done in the class – and finished just five seconds off the podium so the team, particularly Adam Nowell who’s put hours into preparing the bike, are very happy tonight.”

“We’ve had all manner of problems with the 600 so for Paul to post his personal best lap in the class and finish in 11th is brilliant and it was a similar story in the Superstock race where he again lapped at more than 125mph. Everyone has worked their socks off since they’ve got here and days like today make it worthwhile. Paul’s moving forward all the time and I hope we’ve shown people what we can still do with results like what we’ve had today.”

The final race of the week, the six-lap Senior, is scheduled for 10.00am on Friday.

Bennetts Lightweight TT race (2 laps)
1 Michael Dunlop (Paton)
2 Jamie Coward (Kawasaki)
3 Lee Johnston (Kawasaki)
4 Paul Jordan (Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki)
5 Michael Rutter (Kawasaki)
6 Stefano Bonetti (Paton)

Monster Energy Supersport race (2 laps)
1 Peter Hickman (Triumph)
2 Dean Harrison (Kawasaki)
3 James Hillier (Kawasaki)
4 Conor Cummins (Honda)
5 Jamie Coward (Yamaha)
6 Michael Dunlop (Honda)
11 Paul Jordan (Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki)

RL360 Superstock TT race (3 laps)
1 Peter Hickman (BMW)
2 Dean Harrison (Kawasaki)
3 David Johnson (Honda)
4 Michael Dunlop (BMW)
5 Conor Cummins (Honda)
6 Michael Rutter (BMW)
14 Paul Jordan (Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki)


Strong opening day at the TT for Jordan and Dafabet Devitt Racing

After a practice week severely affected by the weather, Paul Jordan and the Dafabet Devitt Racing team were finally able get their race week underway at the 2019 Isle of Man TT Races as they took strong finishes of 12th and 18th in Monday’s Supersport and Superbike races.

The evening’s Supersport race saw the Northern Ireland rider line up on the Kawasaki ZX-6R and despite having only had two laps in practice on the bike, 14th on the leaderboard put him in a good frame of mind. Indeed, starting from 17th position, a strong opening lap of 120.614mph saw him move up the leaderboard to a good 12th place.

Second time around the 37.73-mile circuit, Paul upped his pace as he got more and more dialled into both the race and the bike and although a quicker lap of 121.773mph saw him remain in 12th place, he was more than hopeful of moving into the top ten in the second half of the race.

However, rain had begun to fall on the west part of the circuit and race organisers took the decision to bring the race to a conclusion at the end of the second lap and Paul was duly classified in a fine 12th place which saw him win another silver replica.

Campaigning 1000cc machinery for only the second time around the Mountain Course, 27-year old Jordan felt the lack of track time during practice more than most but having lapped at 122.839mph in the final practice session on the Kawasaki ZX-10RR, he came into Monday morning’s shortened 4-lap Superbike race, moved back from Saturday, in a more confident mood.

Conditions were the best they’d been all week although strong winds of 25-30mph would again be problematical. Nevertheless, Paul started well and the opening lap saw him break the 125mph barrier for the first time with a speed of 125.385mph seeing him slot into a solid 17th place.

Second time around, his pace dropped slightly to 124.214mph as he came into the pits for the solitary pit stop but he continued to run strongly inside the top twenty in 19th place. He was soon back into the race as the team did a great pit stop but the red flag came out shortly afterwards due to an incident and with the result declared at the end of the second lap, Paul was awarded 18th place which earned him a bronze replica.

Paul Jordan: “I only managed two laps in practice on the 600 bike so I’m pretty pleased to have finished 12th, my best ever finish so far at the TT, and I had a pretty good run. I would obviously have liked more time on the bike but it was the same for everyone and I felt at home in the race and had no issues so was happy with the result. If the race had gone the full distance, I think a top ten finish was a definite possibility but we’ll have another go tomorrow.”

“The Superbike race was a bit more challenging but we made another step forward from practice week and have a few more changes we can make with set up ahead of the Superstock race. Lapping at 125mph from a standing start, my best ever lap, was pleasing and my aim was a top twenty finish but I know there’s more to come later in the week. We’ve the Supersport and Lightweight races on Wednesday and the Twin feels really good so it would be nice if we could finish on the podium but we’ll simply do our best and see where that takes us.”

Roy Constable, Team Co-owner: “We’re more than happy with the results from the opening race day and Paul made good moves up the leaderboard from his starting positions. Despite the limited track time, Paul’s made good progress on all of the bikes and it was a shame the Supersport race ended early as we felt a top ten finish was on the cards. We’d had a few overheating issues during practice but a new radiator cured the problems and 12th and a silver replica from a start position of 17th is a good result so we’ll take that.”

“The TT is all about track time and laps and both Paul and the team are still learning the new Kawasaki ZX-10RR but he still improved his personal best lap time by a good margin and a lap in excess of 125mph in only his second year here on a big bike is a fine effort so, overall, it’s been a good day. We’ve still four races to go so are more than hopeful of improving our results as the week continues.”

The incident that brought the Superbike race to an early end sadly claimed the life of Daley Mathison and everyone at Dafabet Devitt Racing wishes to express their condolences to all of Daley’s family and friends at this difficult time.

Racing resumes on Wednesday with the four-lap Lightweight and Supersport races.

Monster Energy Supersport race (2 laps)
1 Lee Johnston (Yamaha)
2 James Hillier (Kawasaki)
3 Peter Hickman (Triumph)
4 Dean Harrison (Kawasaki)
5 Michael Dunlop (Honda)
6 Conor Cummins (Honda)
12 Paul Jordan (Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki)

RST Superbike race (2 laps)
1 Peter Hickman (BMW)
2 Dean Harrison (Kawasaki)
3 Conor Cummins (Honda)
4 James Hillier (Kawasaki)
5 Michael Rutter (Honda)
6 Michael Dunlop (BMW)
18 Paul Jordan (Dafabet Devitt Racing Kawasaki)


McWilliams and KMR Kawasaki take NW200 victory

Jeremy McWilliams overcame inclement weather conditions at the International North West 200 road races on Saturday to give KMR Kawasaki yet another Supertwins race victory at the event. And with Michael Rutter finishing third for the second time in three days and Matthew Rees finishing fourth, it was another superb day for Ryan Farquhar’s team.

The fine weather of Tuesday and Thursday around the 8.9-mile circuit had been replaced by rain and cold temperatures on Saturday and it was 5.20pm before the 4-lap race finally got underway and although two crashes on Thursday almost led to him withdrawing, McWilliams duly took his place on the grid.

Conditions were far from ideal on the North Coast which led to a number of riders, including KMR Kawasaki front runner Derek McGee, opting out of the race and there was drama on the opening lap when Thursday evening’s race winner Stefano Bonetti high-sided out of the action at York Corner.

That allowed Rutter to take the lead from McWilliams and Christian Elkin but by the end of the lap it was McWilliams who was in front with Rutter now in third ahead of Rees, Joseph Loughlin and Italian Francesco Curinga.

The second lap saw McWilliams and Elkin pull clear and they exchanged positions regularly with Elkin leading into University only for McWilliams to take over at Mathers Cross. At the end of the lap though, it was Elkin in first with Rutter in a comfortable third ahead of new fourth place man Curinga.

On the run towards University on lap three, 55-year old McWilliams hit the front again and started to edge away and although his lead going into the fourth and final lap was only half a second, it gave him a bit of breathing space of which he took full advantage.

Aided by the fastest lap of the race, 104.441mph, on the fourth and final lap, Jeremy was able to edge further clear and he duly took the chequered flag from Elkin by 1.3s for his third NW200 victory. Further back, Rutter took another podium position in third, his 34th in total at the event, with Rees taking a best ever finish of fourth to conclude another good day, and meeting, for Farquhar and his team.

Ryan Farquhar: “It’s a weight off my shoulders to get the NW200 out of the way with no injuries to any of the riders and to wrap it up with another win is superb. Conditions were really difficult and I spoke to all of the riders and said there was no pressure from me to ride and it was entirely up to them. Derek had already had a good second place finish in the Supersport race so decided to sit it out with the TT ahead and I was 100% behind his decision. Darren James and Ryan Gibson also sat it out.”

“Jeremy had already had two crashes on Thursday but he put in a superb ride and after a good, clean battle with Christian took a well-deserved win. Michael had another excellent ride as well to make it two podiums from two races and a 1-3 was almost as good as our 1-2-3 in 2012! It’s taken a lot of time, work, effort and money to get here and I perhaps took on too much with six bikes as we now have a lot to do to be ready for first practice at the TT. A win and two third place finishes is a pretty good return though so massive thanks to all my family, friends and sponsors as it wouldn’t be possible without them.”



The two SMC riders Sean Neary and Craig Currie were racing at the team’s local circuit over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend with Lymm rider Sean Neary recording a sixth and fifth in the Ducati Performance TriOptions Cup while Craig Currie who lives in Long Bennington near Newark finished race one in 11th place and went on to finish 13th in race two.

Neary qualified for a third row start to the first race on Sunday and said: “I royally messed up during qualifying and finished in eighth position. With light rain falling I just didn’t push hard enough as I wasn’t sure on grip. With a good start tomorrow we will be sound.”

But things didn't go quite to plan for Neary as, although he was running in sixth place and poised to move further forward, the red flag halted the race for a crash on lap seven of 10. With the race already past the two thirds distance a result was called leaving Neary to record sixth place.

Neary said: “Unfortunately the race was cut short today with red flag and I ended up sixth. A couple more laps and I could have had a chance of fourth but it is what it is. Rest assured I’m giving it 110% but it just ain’t happening at the moment. Thanks as always to my team and sponsors. We’ve made changes and will go again tomorrow.”

Starting race two from the second row Neary was sixth on the first lap and overtook Sam Middlemas one lap later. He was unable to catch Mark Cheetham who was circulating several yards ahead and had to be satisfied with fifth place at the flag.

He said: “To finish sixth and fifth today at my home round is absolutely gutting but I can’t change that. The SMC Racing Team are a mega bunch of people and they deserve better but it just ain’t happening at the moment. We are missing something. Thanks to the sponsors of course for backing the Suits Me Card Team. Thanks to all that came to support the team, I am just sorry it was not as good a result as hoped for. I’ll hit the reset button and come back stronger for Donington.”

Neary picked up 21 points at Oulton and goes into the next round holding fifth place overall on 37 points.

Currie qualified well in seventh place and lined up on the third row for the first race. He was running in 11th place when the red flag came out on lap seven and the result declared on positions on lap six which gave him an 11th place finish.

Currie started the second race from the fourth row and maintained 12th place for the first two laps before passing Jack Thompson in 11th position. But Thompson retook him on lap five with Daniel Shaw also taking advantage. Now down in 13th position Currie had a four second advantage over Dave Mackay and put in a solid performance to bring the Ducati home in a strong 13th position. With the eight points accrued at Oulton Park Currie is now placed 14th in the overall rider standings on 12 points.