Superstock champion Alastair Seeley’s nine-race unbeaten run came to an end yesterday at the 2.1mile Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire.
The Carrickfergus rider could only manage third position after a titanic 15-lap scrap that saw the Relentless Suzuki by TAS rider involved in a no holds barred encounter with the Padgetts Honda’s of season long rivals Steve Brogan and John McGuinness.
The lead changed hands continuously with the result of the race only decided at the final bend.
Seeley led only for Brogan to go for the inside line and the two riders touched, forcing them both wide.
That allowed 15-times TT winner McGuinness through to win from Scott Smart, whose Ducati expired as he crossed the line, with Seeley recovering to claim third ahead of Brogan.
“That was a really good race,” said Seeley afterwards.
“It was close at times, in fact at the last corner it got too close between Brogan and me and we clashed elbows and fairings as we both went for the same piece of tarmac.
“In the end points make prizes, I’ve won the championship and I’m happy with third.”
Brogan said: “From the start I knew I had to do anything to break his rhythm.
“I was desperate to win the race, but not at all costs.
“Every pass was clean during the race except for that last one when I caught his hip and we both went wide.”
An ecstatic McGuinness said: “I could see something was going to happen.
“They were diving up inside everywhere until they eventually came together at the hairpin and I thought thank you very much.
“That’s my first win at this level since a supersport win in 2001 and I am absolutely over the moon.”
Ballyclare rider Jamie Hamilton put one hand on the 600cc superstock championship, riding a controlled race to finish in second position behind Luke Mossey, taking a 47 point lead into the final two rounds of the series with just 50 available.
Champion elect Leon Camier and Stuart Easton won a British Superbike race each with 26-year old Easton recording his and Hydrex Honda’s first ever BSB victory.
Ian Lowry had a solid fifth place finish in race one after a poor start and again in race two he was sluggish off the start line and managed to work his way up to seventh at the chequered flag to move to fourth position in the championship.
Marty Nutt finished in eighth position in the supersport race which was won by Steve Plater.
Meanwhile, at the final road race of the season at Killalane, Ryan Farquhar eclipsed the all time record of Irish national road race wins of 119 held by Joey Dunlop by recording a hat trick of successes in the supertwins, supersport and open classes taking his total of victories on the national road races around Ireland to an incredible 121.
William Dunlop won both the 125 and 250cc races while brother Michael recorded four second place finishes in the 125, 250, supersport and open races, also winning the non-championship 600cc events.
Ballygowan rider Michael Pearson won the Country Crest Grand Final in what was his first major success on the Irish national road race scene.