Derek McGee set for Irish road racing return at Walderstown ‘Race of South’ meeting

McGee has been out of action since breaking his pelvis in a pit bike crash in September 2021, which forced him out of the Cookstown 100.

He had only made his return to racing just over a month earlier at Armoy after sitting out all 2020 in a bid to get back to full fitness and give his body a break after an accident while training at the Isle of Man TT in 2019.

The Republic of Ireland rider, who turns 36 today, showed he had lost none of his competitive edge at Armoy last July, where he finished on the podium in both Superbike races and in the Supersport category. He also won the Supertwin race, setting a new lap record on Ryan Farquhar’s KMR Kawasaki.

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Derek McGee is among the participants in the Walderstown Road Races in County Westmeath.

McGee has been absent from the national road racing scene for nearly a year, but he should still be a force to be reckoned with when racing begins on Sunday.

However, man of the moment Michael Sweeney will be looking to build on his hat-trick at the Skerries 100 last weekend as he aims to claim the Irish Superbike title.

Sweeney has been in excellent form on his MJR BMW S1000RR and has been the rider to beat this season in the absence of fellow Southern Irishman Derek Sheils.

The Skerries man will also be competing in the Supersport class on his Yamaha and Kawasaki Supertwin machines at the Fore Club ‘Race of the South’ meeting near Athlone, which is back on the calendar for the first time since 2019 .

Michael Sweeney scored a hat-trick last weekend at the Skerries 100.

Another top contender on Burrows Engineering/RK Racing machines is Cork’s Mike Browne.

Browne broke both ankles at the Cookstown 100 in April and was forced to sit out the Tandragee 100 and North West 200, before returning to the Isle of Man TT.

He edged out Sweeney to win a tight Supersport shit at Skerries and also finished second in both Superbike races on his Suzuki GSX-R1000.

“I was thrilled to beat ‘Micko’ [Michael Sweeney] in the Supersport race and it was nice to tick off a Moto3 win and set a lap record, so we’re heading to Walderstown now and we’ll give it another shot,” said Browne.

“I was overall happy with how the weekend went at Skerries and even though the big race didn’t go my way, I was happy with my two second places.

“The three weeks since the TT gave my ankles a bit more time to heal and they definitely felt a lot better on the bikes.”

Ballymoney rider Darryl Tweed is also entered on the Wilson Craig Honda 600.

Tweed finished third to Skerries in the Supersport race and also made the grandstand in the Open and Grand Final races.

The former Manx Grand Prix winner quickly gelled with the WCR Honda and Tweed will be eager to impress again after being offered the chance to ride for the team by Darren Gilpin for the rest of the season. year.

Local man Thomas Maxwell is another of the main protagonists this weekend, when the Mullingar native will aim for a solid result on his Kawasaki ZX-10R, while British Championship rider Kevin Keyes from Edenderry will make his debut on the roads in Walderstown.

The roads must close Saturday from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for training.

On Sunday, a program of 10 races is planned, with roads closed from 8 a.m. and reopening no later than 6:30 p.m.

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