LAST year Cookstown/Burrows Engineering Racing won two Irish titles, an Ulster Grand Prix race and eighteen national races and their 2015 campaign got off to a lightening start as Jamie Hamilton scored a superb double at the big Easter Monday meeting at Kirkistown.
Hamilton won the first Superbike race from Stephen Thompson and Alastair Kirk. Hamilton, who set the fastest lap of the race on the all new Cookstown/Burrows Engineering Suzuki 1000, had a great tussle for most of the eight laps with fellow road race star Derek Sheils, but the Dubliner didn’t make the chequered flag after slipping off his Kawasaki in the closing stages.
Sheils regrouped for race two which he won narrowly from Hamilton after the pair once again had given the bumper bank holiday crowd great value for money.
Riding the Cookstown/Burrows Engineering Kawasaki 650, Ballyclare star Hamilton also scored a first and a second place in the Supertwins class after two hectic encounters with form British Champion and NW200 winner Christian Elkin.
Hamilton won the first race by two tenths of a second from the Englishman and looked set to beat him again later in the afternoon until backmarkers intervened. The wily Elkin took full advantage and relegated Hamilton to the runner-up position.
Two wins and two second places delighted both rider Hamilton and team owner John Burrows.
Hamilton said: “Monday was a great day, the crowd was unreal and I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season. The Supertwin was really strong and I should have won both races but I was too cautious with backmarkers in race two and Elkin was quick to capitalise.
“As for the Superbike what can I say. John and the team have built a great new bike from the ground up, it was absolutely flying.
“I can’t wait for the Cookstown 100, I’m set up for it perfectly now after two wins and my fastest ever laps of Kirkistown. The speed of the Cookstown/Burrows Engineering bikes is blistering, I should be able to hold my own against anyone and bring home the ‘Cookstown’ bacon!”
Burrows commented: “We couldn’t have asked for a better start to the campaign, all the pre-season testing and professional preparation paid off instantly. I’m particularly pleased at how competitive the Superbike is, it’s an all new machine but Jamie clicked with it almost straight away. Like Jamie, I can’t wait for the Cookstown 100 now!
“On another note, I’ve had a change of mind about retiring my Honda 250 and I’d like to announce that Michael Sweeney will ride it again this year. Michael has persuaded Mark Kelly to look after the lightweight two-stroke so I’m sure he’ll be successful on it once again.”
Photo Credit; Baylon McCaughey