Belfast Telegraph

Alastair Seeley so close to perfect crash remedy

By Roy Harris

An up and down two days for Alastair Seeley at Oulton Park saw him crash out of Sunday’s British Supersport sprint race before salvaging points by finishing second yesterday in a breathtaking second race.

Seeley and Graeme Gowland were lying second and third on the sixth of 12 laps in race one when both high-sided out in unison at Druids Bend, both unscathed, handing a comfortable victory to Billy McConnell over Luke Stapleford and Glenn Irwin, who took the lead in the championship by a single point before losing it yesterday.

Yesterday, Seeley became embroiled in a fierce battle with McConnell and Gowland from pole.

Seeley and McConnell swapped the lead on numerous occasions, the decisive move coming at the last corner of the final lap where Australian McConnell forced his Smiths Triumph up the inside of Seeley’s Mar-Train Yamaha. The pair were just millimetres apart with McConnell completing a double, two-tenths of a second ahead of Seeley with Gowland a further two-tenths back in third.

Irwin and his Gearlink Kawasaki finished fifth, losing the championship lead to McConnell, who has 76 points to Irwin's 63 with Seeley now third, two points behind his near-neighbour.

Seeley said: “I crashed on Sunday in a good position, but today Bill and I knew what each other are capable of, rubbing fairings and bars.

“I thought I had defended my position going into Lodge, but fair play to him he just stuck his knee out and shoved me aside — it was a good clean race.

“I would have to thank the Mar-Train Yamaha boys who built the bike after the crash when it was basically totalled.”

It was a great day for another east Antrim competitor with Newtownabbey FXX Yamaha rider Andy Reid storming to his first victory in the Pirelli British Superstock 600cc championship.

The tattoo artist came from the second row of the grid to challenge leader Andrew Irwin on lap one, sweeping around the outside of the MMR Kawasaki to snatch a lead that he never relinquished.

Irwin’s challenge didn’t last long as he lost the back end of his machine at Island Bend and crashed out of the action.

British Superbikes saw Shakey Byrne lead race one from start to finish despite a late surge from Josh Brookes.

Race two was a different matter with Brookes and his Milwaukee Yamaha leading from start to finish.

Brookes said: “I don’t know the last time I led a race from start to finish. I didn’t want Shakey to set the pace and I made an immediate daring clean repass the one and only time he got in front of me. I’m really pleased to get my first win for Milwaukee Yamaha.”

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