British Superstock 1000 protagonist Carl Phillips continued his Irish short circuit winning streak with another victory on the MD Racing Suzuki at Bishopscourt on Saturday.
Phillips – who is being backed by 13-time Isle of Man TT winner Michael Dunlop this season – used the Temple Club’s Irish Superbike meeting in Co Down for more track time on the new GSX-R1000.
The Lisburn rider has made an impressive start in his debut year on a 1000cc machine after making the step up to the Superstock 1000 class in England, opening his account with some strong points-scoring finishes at Donington Park and Brands Hatch.
The next round of the Superstock championship will take place during the World Superbike round at Donington this weekend, but Phillips has decided to give the meeting a miss to salvage some of his budget for the remainder of the season and is set to return at Knockhill in Scotland, where the MCE British Superbike Championship resumes from June 16-18 following the Isle of Man TT.
Phillips was in hot form earlier this month when he chalked up a treble in the Masters Superbike Championship at Mondello Park and he continued in the same vein on Saturday, leading all the way in the first Superbike race to take victory by 4.3 seconds from Antrim rider Nikki Coates (KP Kawasaki), with Cody Nally completing the first three on his Kawasaki ZX-10R, 5.3 seconds behind Phillips.
“I’m well happy with that,” Phillips said. “I just rode my own race and led from start to finish. I really enjoyed myself out there and I actually opened a lead of about seven seconds, but then I just rolled it off and brought it home for a win.
“The lap times were okay for the conditions and all in all I enjoyed it – it was a good run out.
“The bike was absolutely brilliant. We only changed the gearing a bit when we arrived here and I just went out and rode it. I think I only did about 10 laps the whole day because it started to rain later in the afternoon, so I thought I’d give the second race a miss.
“I didn’t want to be making any costly mistakes out there because the British championship is our main focus and we need to try and stretch our budget as much as we can.”
Elaborating on his decision to sit out the Superstock 1000 races at the World Superbike meeting at Donington, Phillips added: “The next Superstock 1000 round is at the World Superbike round at Donington Park but it would cost a lot to do it and I’d rather save some of the budget for the later rounds.
“The Temple Club did a great job today and got all the races wrapped up well. I might do the next ISB race at Kirkistown in June but I’ll wait and see if the opportunity is there.”
Behind the top three in race one, Alistair Kirk crossed the line in fourth on the AKR McCurry BMW, while Mark Glasgow (Kawasaki) and Charles Stuart (Yamaha) rounded out the top six.
With Phillips sitting out the second Superbike race, Meath’s Cody Nally proved the man to beat on his Kawasaki in the wet.
Nally hit the front and managed to open an advantage of 3.1 seconds over Glasgow, with Kirk missing out on the runner-up spot by only 0.068 seconds in third on his S1000RR.
Coates was two seconds back in fourth followed by Stuart and ISB Cup rider John Matthews.
Korie McGreevy won the first Irish Supersport race on the Century Racing by IMR Triumph after a battle with Jason Lynn (Walter Bell Suzuki), who was only 0.159 seconds adrift at the finish after six laps of the 1.8-mile Bishopscourt National circuit.
Ross Patterson was snapping at their heels in third on his KP Kawasaki as three tenths of a second covered the top three.
The leading six positions were filled by Aaron Clifford, Christian Elkin and Aaron Armstrong.
In a damp second race it was Mark Conlin who took the win from Supersport Cup rider Eunan McGlinchey by 2.7 seconds, with Patterson in third ahead of race one victor McGreevy. Lynn and Aaron Armstrong were the first six.
McGlinchey was a dominant double winner in the Production Twins races while Marty Lennon chalked up a brace in the Supertwins class.