Belfast Telegraph

Alastair Seeley battles on to well-earned win, despite crash

By Roy Harris

In an up and down weekend at Oulton Park, Wee Wizard Alastair Seeley went from the medical centre to race winner to keep in contention for the British Supersport Championship.

Seeley crashed heavily during Saturday qualifying, damaging ribs and gashing his elbow, but you cannot keep the tough little Carrick man down and in the sprint race, which was a 10-lap thriller with five riders chopping and changing places throughout, the battered and bruised Mar Train Yamaha rider managed fifth in a point salvaging race.

In a final lap dust up, Glenn Irwin, a near neighbour of Seeley’s, crashed uninjured in a last ditch effort to snatch third

The race saw Seeley’s championship rivals Billy McConnell and Graeme Gowland finish first and second.

In yesterday’s feature race, Glenn Irwin was the early leader with Seeley mired in 10th position as the safety car came out on lap one while an incident was cleared up.

Racing again on lap six of 15 on a drying track, Irwin and Gowland fought for the lead as Seeley began to gain ground rapidly.

On lap 10 he was with the leaders and a lap later swept into the lead gradually extending the gap to finish four seconds clear of Irwin making it a Carrick 1-2.

Now only four points separate the top three in the championship thriller — Gowland on 228, McConnell 227 and Seeley on 224 while Irwin is in fifth position on 158.

Seeley said: “I took a big bang in qualifying and the dry race that evening was a struggle. After some physio in the morning I got a terrible start in race two from 10th on the grid, but once the pace car went in I got into a good rhythm and on the drying track I was able to slide the bike about in total control and turn in good lap times. Once in the lead I was able to pull clear to take a great win for the team.”

Andy Reid lost out on valuable points in his Superstock 600 title chase when he tucked the front of his FFX Yamaha crashing out from the lead at half race distance with victory going to championship leader Kyle Ryde, who now leads way in the series by 26 points from Reid.

British Superbikes had three races at Oulton with Ryuichi Kiyonari taking a double in races one and two while Ulster-based Aussie Josh Brookes ran away with race three in tricky wet-dry conditions.

Marshall Neill was a triple winner in the Adelaide Masters meeting at Bishopscourt on Saturday, the Portadown rider winning both Superbike races by the slimmest of margins and going on to complete his hat-trick with victory in the feature race for the Norman Brown Memorial Trophy, a race he was winning for the third consecutive year.

Nikki Coates was victorious in the first Adelaide Supersport race, taking a narrow win from Robert Kennedy and Jamie Patterson.

As a guest rider in the Harley Davidson races held during the Indianapolis MotoGP meeting, Glengormley 50-year old Jeremy McWilliams won the opening race by eight one hundredths of a second on Saturday evening at the famous Brickyard circuit after a rip-roaring 5-rider, 10 lap battle that saw the top four finish less than a second apart.

Dan Kneen was a three time winner yesterday at the Faugheen 50 where he clinched the Irish Road Race Superbike championship at his first attempt on his Cookstown BE Suzuki and in a good weekend for John Burrows’ team, Michael Sweeney took the Irish 250cc road race series following an easy win in Co Tipperary.

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