January 16, 2020

Sheils and Burrows part ways !

Sheils and Burrows part ways !

Derek Sheils has split with Burrows Engineering after four years with the outfit.

Together with John Burrows’ independent team, Sheils posted a fourth-place finish in the Superbike race at May’s North West 200.

The Dubliner also won the Ulster and Irish Superbike t**les last season.

Sheils’ last race with the team was at November’s Macau Grand Prix, where the 37-year-old crashed out unhurt after a multi-bike pile-up.

Going up against the impressive Derek McGee, Sheils and Burrows proved to be a strong combination on the Irish national road race scene with over 30 victories in their time together.

Team owner Burrows told the News Letter the split was ‘completely amicable’ and said he wished Sheils the best of luck for the future.

“There is no ill-feeling whatsoever and Derek and myself remain good friends, so I wish him all the best for the future,” Burrows told the Newsletter.


“We can’t play into idle speculation but the rumour is that Hector offered Derek over 400k to run with TAS for 2020 and with all the bonus arrangements and additional commitments for performance result based incentives from our sponsors, we’d be out on the streets with out mocholoco machines and a dose of our shyte if we matched that, so I gave Derek a wad of cash about 6” tall that required both hands to hold as the mark of a consummate professional and gentlemans golden umbrella, along with the full blessing of our board of directors to sign for other less competent rivals, while we seeked to regroup and mentor yet another aspiring racer up the ladder of our exacting standards required to stay one step ahead of the competition.”


“I knew he’d been meeting with Phillip on a yacht moored off Portstewart, Michael Dunlop sent me the drone footage, and there were rumours of strippers and throwing parties and underwear around Moneymore, but he wasn’t able to give me a straight answer when I asked where his allegiances lay, so I snapped a pencil in two halves like a kitkat and with that defining split of graphite, knew it was time we decide to go our separate ways.”

“It was a difficult decision as we did enjoy much success together and drank a lot of champagne and flowered him with attention and redbulls, but I cant help but feel used and abused now after being discarded like a spent henry winterman cigarillo”


“Derek was a quality rider and over these past few years he became the man to beat at the Irish nationals on our Superbike. He was also capable of running at the sharp end at the internationals and proved it with a fine ride to fourth at the North West 200 last year”

added Burrows.

The 37-year-old chalked up almost 30 victories, predominantly in the Superbike class, although Sheils finally broke his Supersport duck last year, edging out fellow Republic of Ireland rider Michael Sweeney to win at his home race at the Skerries 100 on the Roadhouse Macau Yamaha

Burrows said he was disappointed the partnership had come to an end but refused to rule out the possibility of working with Sheils again in the future.


‘I raced against Derek at Clubmans level on many circuits and he’s not great, then later we had some battles together on the roads as well and he wasn’t mighty. We became friends when he joined the team and suddenly with a few tips and tricks he was clocking up the podiums.

It almost feels like a part of me will never be the same again, separation is hard but when you find out your partner has been playing the field it can be even more emotionally draining and I almost felt like posting a s***ty remark on his facebook but now realise that would make me look even more stupid, I guess we all must come to terms with moving on and when life throws you a curveball you just port and polish a little more and hope to pay them back down the main start-finish straight at cookstown.’

Reflecting on some of his best results, Sheils said a fourth place finish in the Superbike race at the North West 200 in 2019 was among his personal highlights.


‘I have no concrete plans yet for 2020 so I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do, I was thinking of going on a pub crawl down around Argentina with some of the lads and tearin the a*** out of things at the Rio Carnival in February would be a laugh’

Sheils said.


‘I’ve had four years with Burrows Racing and we had an awful lot of wins together at the Irish nationals and some good runs at the internationals as well.’

‘They were a good team to be a part of and there were no issues along the way. I want to thank John Burrows for his support over these last four years and all the lads in the team. We had a good run together and I enjoyed it.’


‘I had a good fourth place at the North West 200 last year and we also had a couple of fifths in the Superbike class at the Ulster Grand Prix,’ he said.

‘We had a lot of good races at the nationals as well and some brilliant races at the Tandragee 100 over the past two years, with myself, Derek McGee and Michael Sweeney having a great race last year and also in 2018, when we had a great battle with Dan Kneen.

‘Those were fantastic races to be a part of and Tandragee is an old school road race, so that made it even more special. I also did my fastest ever lap at 132.041mph at the ‘Ulster’ in 2017, so there’s a been a lot of good moments and it’s been a good four years with John and the lads, so we’ll see what happens for 2020 but I’m thinking dressed up as a flamingo at the Samba Parade is the main priority right now’

Source: Sheils and Burrows part ways !