Saturday, January 28

Team Ireland in 3rd after Race 1 and 2 in Phillip Island Classic

Ireland picked up some valuable points in Race 1 and 2 of the Phillip Island Classic in Australia earlier today as both Paul Byrne and Derek Sheils claimed top 10 finishes. Road racer Derek Sheils acclimatized quickly to the elevated Australian track and finished ahead of multiple TT winner John McGuinness in both Race 1 and 2 on the Tom Dermody Suzuki XR69. Paul Byrne, brother of Irish Superbike racer Damien Byrne, bagged some important scores to leave Team Ireland in a healthy 3rd place in the team table with another days racing to come.

Paul Byrne aboard the McIntosh Suzuki 1260

Other Irish riders that recorded important finishes in the scorching 30 degrees heat were Hilton Hincks also on a Tom Dermody Suzuki XR69 and current Irish Classic Superbike competitor Chris Campbell on a Yamaha FJ100. In Race 2 both David Johnson and Alexander Pickett picked up 12th and 14th on a pair of Suzuki’s. Ben Rea and Cormac Conroy are also determined to add points to Ireland's tally.

Derek Sheils enters the fray on the Tom Dermody Suzuki XR69

The UK leads the points table following a brace of wins from Philip Island classic regular Jeremy McWilliams as Australia are second and Ireland a remarkable 3rd despite some annoying mechanical issues and dubious penalties. Racing continues tomorrow as both the team and individual competitions are still up for grabs.

1. UK - 352 points
2. AUS - 328 points
3. Ireland - 251 points
4. NZ - 179 points
5. US - 170 points
Words: Andy Quinn

Images:\Derek Sheils

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