Belfast Telegraph

British Superbike Championship: Seeley poised to lead the way

By Paul Lindsay

If yesterday’s free practice sessions are anything to go by, Relentless by TAS Suzuki’s Alastair Seeley can fully expect to be fighting for pole position during today’s Swan Combi Roll for Poll, during round seven of the British Superbike Championship at Snetterton.

The series rookie impressively held top spot for all but five minutes of the second session at the Norfolk venue yesterday, in dry but muggy conditions — narrowly losing out by one tenth of a second to HM Plant Honda’s Australian recruit and current series leader Josh Brookes right at the death.

Seeley currently hovers just nine points outside the magical top six in the BSB series, with his nearest rivals for sixth place cut off spot, John Laverty (Buildbase Ducati) and Stuart Easton (Swan Honda), finishing free practice eighth and 15th respectively.

Series veteran Michael Rutter, now 38, continues to impress on the Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati, holding down third place during free practice from Worx Suzuki’s Tommy Hill and Motorpoint Yamaha pilot Dan Linfoot.

Michael Laverty, currently fourth in the championship standings with Relentless Suzuki used yesterday’s sessions to dial himself in for today’s Roll for Pole and was happy enough with sixth position, just seven tenths off the pole time.

One rider who was strangely well down the timing sheets was HM Plant Honda’s Ryuichi Kiyonari, languishing in 14th place.

But the Japanese former double champion usually saves his best for live qualifying.

A big plus for BSB fans this weekend is the addition of the postponed Knockhill BSB race two, scheduled for 3.15pm today at Snetterton.

Grid positions will be taken from the Scottish venue, putting both Relentless Suzuki men on the front row for the 20-lap encounter.

GNS Honda’s Sam Lowes continued his rich vein of form topping the middleweight timesheets ahead of James Westmoreland and Billy McConnell on the Came Yamahas at Snetterton.

Top Irishman in free practice was Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston on the Oxford Tag Triumph, with Marty Nutt 15th and Dublin’s Jack Kennedy strangely at the southern end of the class timesheets in 21st position.

Antrim’s John Simpson forced his Trickbits Triumph onto the front row of the Metzeler National Superstock 600 grid at Snetterton in second place, and Andrew Reid currently holds eighth place, after free practice, in the British 125cc Championship.

The BSB Swan Combi Roll for Poll session commences today at 12.20pm, followed by the rearranged Knockhill BSB race two at 3.15pm.

Tomorrow’s BSB races, both run over 22 laps, will take place at 12.30pm and 4.35pm respectively and can be viewed on British Eurosport.

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