Ireland’s leading short circuit meeting was pushed back by a day due to high winds and heavy rain on Friday.
On a glorious autumn day on Sunday, British Superbike prospect Nesbitt took the lead into the first corner from last year’s champion Richard Kerr (AMD Motorsport Honda) and gradually eased away at the front on the Hawk Racing Honda.
The 22-year-old from Swindon added his name to an illustrious list of past winners of the J.A.S. Finlay Sunflower Trophy, including Joey Dunlop – the inaugural winner in 1977 – and fellow greats such as Steve Hislop, Ron Haslam and six-time World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea.
Nesbitt, who also won Sunday’s opening Superbike race from Donegal’s Kerr, eventually secured the win by 3.9s after 12 laps at the season finale.
“It feels mega and these races mean a lot,” Nesbitt said. “It helps everyone out because it’s good seat time for me and it’s good promotion for the club.
“I’m happy and it’s been a good day, so I’m looking forward to next year already.”
Kerr dug deep on his AMD Motorsport Honda Superstock machine to fend off a determined challenge from 2015 Moto3 world champion Danny Kent, who was making his debut on the Mar-Train Racing Yamaha this weekend. The duo were separated by only 0.086s on the line.
Kerr – Saturday’s Superbike race winner from Nesbitt – said: “Obviously I wanted to win it – every one of us wanted to win it – but I knew those boys, come Sunday, would be faster because they had a new track to learn.
“I had good slicks on – the same as the other two [Charlie Nesbitt and Danny Kent] – but with the big straight, as Charlie said himself, he was able to catch me on corner exit and down the straight.
“But it doesn’t frustrate me because we came here on a ’stocker.”
Fellow National Superstock 1000 rider Scott Swann produced an eye-catching ride on his Yamaha R1 to claim fourth, almost seven seconds further back, with BSB frontrunner Lee Jackson fifth (Hawk Racing Honda).
Jonny Campbell rounded out the top six in the headline race (Magic Bullet Yamaha) ahead of British Supersport rider Tom Booth-Amos on the 600cc Gearlink Kawasaki.
Booth-Amos won Sunday’s non-championship Supersport race and broke the absent Richard Cooper’s day-old lap record for the class, prevailing in a race-long battle with Eunan McGlinchey (EMR Yamaha).
Nottingham’s Cooper and his BPE by Russell Racing Yamaha team-mate Dean Harrison had prior commitments and were unable to compete on day two of the meeting.
Cooper doubled up in the Supersport class on Saturday, smashing Glenn Irwin’s 2014 lap record and beating Booth-Amos twice, with Harrison third in each race.
However, Booth-Amos raised the bar with a new record lap in 1m 07.072s (97.901mph) in Sunday’s encounter, which he won from fellow British Supersport rider McGlinchey by 1.1s. Sam Laffins was third on his Kawasaki, 12.6s down on the leaders.
Ulster Superbike champion Jason Lynn added the Supersport crown on Saturday to wrap up a title double for the Banbridge-based J McC Roofing Racing team, finishing fourth and fifth.
Dungannon’s Cameron Dawson won the Supertwin race on Sunday, leading all the way on the J McC Roofing/KMR Kawasaki to seal victory by 1.829s from late entry Jeremy McWilliams (J McC Roofing Racing Kawasaki). Cookstown’s Gary McCoy completed the podium (Madbros Kawasaki).
Young guns Alexander Rowan and Jack Burrows claimed a victory apiece in the Moto3 races, with Stephen McAdoo a close third on each occasion.