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Mid Antrim 150: Mitchell-Thomas bags treble on debut

'It was a great weekend all round and gives us something to build on for the season ahead... but we won't get carried away' - Malachi Mitchell-Thomas.
Newcomer Malachi Mitchell-Thomas made a stunning Irish road racing debut at the Mid Antrim 150 on Saturday, where the young prospect claimed a treble.

In his first appearance at the 3.5-mile Clough course, Mitchell-Thomas won both Supersport races, beating Irishman Michael Sweeney, and completed his hat-trick on the Cookstown. B.E. Racing Suzuki Superstock machine with a win in the opening Superbike race.

The Bolton rider also finished second in the feature Superbike race behind team-mate Derek Sheils and chased Ryan Farquhar home in the Supertwins event on a memorable weekend for the 2015 Senior Manx Grand Prix winner.

“Thanks to John [Burrows] and the whole team, they are mega! This is great for my sponsors and also for the team sponsors, as a lot of people, especially John, have put a lot on the line to give me this opportunity,” said Mitchell-Thomas.

“I did some laps in a the car with John before the meeting looking at tip-in points and the like, but as I always do, I worked it out for myself. I'm not one for following others and did my own thing, which is how I prefer it.

“It was a great weekend and I even impressed myself, re-passing both Derek [Sheils] and Ryan [Farquhar] to take the win in the first Superbike race,” he added.

“It was a great weekend all round and gives us something to build on for the season ahead. I'll be back next week to look at the Tandragee 100 circuit, but we will not get carried away.”

Dubliner Sheils turned the tables on his new team-mate to win the big race of the day but was full of praise for Mitchell-Thomas afterwards.

“Fair play to Mal, he came here as a newcomer and put on a great show. From my point of view I'm delighted to take the first Grand Final win of the year on the big Suzuki and it sets us up well for the season ahead.”

Joey Dunlop's son Gary made his road racing debut on Saturday and took fifth place in the 125cc two-stroke race.

The Mid Antrim meeting was back on the calendar for the first time since 2013 and lifted the curtain on the new season, with the Tandragee 100 next up on April 23.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Malachi Mitchell-Thomas leads his Cookstown B.E. Racing team-mate Derek Sheils at the Mid Antrim 150
Guy Martin on the Honda Racing Fireblade SP2
Gary Johnson will run his own team at TT 2017.
Conor Cummins has joined the Padgetts Racing Honda team for 2017.
Lee Johnston has teamed up with Ryan Farquhar to race a KMR Kawasaki in the NI Air Ambulance colours at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.
Alastair Seeley with the Tyco BMW he will race at the North West 200.
John McGuinness on the Jackson Racing Honda.
Michael Dunlop, Carl Cox, [Credit: Holeshot PR]
Michael Dunlop has signed for Bennets Suzuki for the 2017 international road races.
Michael Dunlop has signed for the Bennett Suzuki team for 2017.
Guy Martin, John McGuinness Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Guy Martin, Honda Racing, [Credit: Honda Racing]
Josh Brookes has signed to ride for Norton at the Isle of Man TT in 2017.
Dan Kneen has signed for the Penz13.com Racing Team for the 2017 road races.
Dan Hegarty won the TT Privateers Championship in 2016.
Peter Hickman will ride for Smiths Racing in 2017 at the international road races and in the British Superbike Championship.
Peter Hickman won the Macau Grand Prix for the second year running on the Bathams/SMT BMW.
Glenn Irwin on the PBM Ducati at the Macau Grand Prix.

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