Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

British Championships: Seeley takes title by a single point after thrilling finale

He did it the hard way, but Carrick’s Alastair Seeley is the 2011 British Supersport Champion.

After 24 thrilling races the Relentless Suzuki rider won the title by a solitary point from Ben Wilson during the final race of the year at Brands Hatch yesterday.

“That’s the British championship wrapped up and I’m over the moon,” beamed a jubilant Seeley after his 10th win of the season.

“Ben and I didn’t give each other an inch all year and coming to Brands I knew it would be some battle. I feel on top of the world at the minute.

“I’ll be partying hard tonight, then it’ll be home to prepare for the Sunflower before I head off to Australia on holiday.”.

Seeley carried a 14-point lead going into the end of season triple header in Kent, but a race one crash on Saturday whilst leading — after touching a kerb with his engine casing — swung the title in favour of Wilson, who took his ninth victory of the year for Gearlink Kawasaki.

There was more drama yesterday morning when a heavy downpour left the circuit in a treacherous condition, and with an 11 point deficit Seeley faced an uphill task.

He did lead in the early stages but the victory eventually went to Dublin’s Jack Kennedy. Seeley was second and Wilson, dodging the damp patches, finished fourth.

Both team managers were out with their calculators and, despite many permutations, it was pretty much down to winner takes all.

Wilson led the way in the early stages but once Seeley got his nose in front he gapped the Kawasaki man, then consolidated his advantage to take the title by a solitary point.

The British Superbike title also went right down to the wire with Englishman Tommy Hill taking the top prize by just two points.

The Swan Yamaha rider entered the final race yesterday just two points down on American John Hopkins on the Samsung Suzuki.

HM Plant Honda’s Shane Byrne cleared off to take the win, but Hill and Hopkins’ war went down to the last corner on the last lap in the last race of the year. Phenomenal.

The pair swapped positions, and paint, on numerous occasions but as the chequered flag was unfurled for the final time in 2011, the crown went to Hill by a miniscule 6/1000ths of a second — less than the width of a tyre.