Seeley at double as Farmer makes his mark
Carrick’s Alastair Seeley came out of Oulton Park’s Bank Holiday British Championship meeting as Northern Ireland’s top rider with a double Supersport podium, but credit must also go to 23-year-old Keith Farmer, who in only his second season of tarmac racing, took the National Superstock 600cc victory on his privately entered Yamaha.
Seeley’s brace of second placed finishes in the Supersport class came after two race-long battles with double Supersport winner, Ben Wilson on the Gearlink Kawasaki; Dublin’s Jack Kennedy (Appleyard Macadam Yamaha) was also in the mix and filled the lower rung of the podium in both outings.
A delighted yet slightly frustrated Seeley said afterwards: “I led for about two-thirds distance in that second race but they wouldn’t leave me alone. I think they knew if I got a clear few laps I could pull the pin, as I proved with the fastest lap of the race.”
He added: “I can’t complain as there are three podium trophies sitting in the motorhome for our efforts this last week or so and I’m sure we’ll have weekends with double wins on the new Suzuki.
“It’s only the bike’s second ever race, so I’m sure Stevie Fleming can work his magic and give us a few more horses as the season progresses!”
Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston took fifth in race one on his East Coast Racing Honda but crashed out on the opening lap of race two, whilst Castlerock’s Marty Nutt cashed in at the lower end of the leader-board with 12th and 15th placed finishes.
In the premier British Superbike Championship there was disappointment for Michael Laverty who looked like a cast-iron podium finisher in both races. Arm pump in race one dropped the Swan Yamaha man down to fifth place in the closing stages and unforced errors cost him, what looked like his debut victory for Yamaha in race two, taking only 22 points for his weekend’s efforts with another fifth place.
The BSB victories were shared by current champion Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) and American John Hopkins (Samsung Suzuki). The former MotoGP man took advantage of a safety car situation at half distance, after Relentless Suzuki’s Josh Brookes lobbed his GSX-R into the scenery for the second time in a week, leaving team manager Philip Neill with a major machinery headache, just two weeks away from the North West 200.
Hopkins and MSS Discovery Kawasaki’s Stuart Easton filled the minor podium positions in race one, with Easton and series leader Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) claiming the bubbly behind the Suzuki of Hopper in race two. Byrne leads the championship on 70 points from Easton on 59, Kiyonari on 58, Hopkins on 56 and Hill on 45, who didn’t race after a morning warm-up crash, and the luckless Laverty on 36. It was another frustrating day for Moira’s Ian Lowry – two 18th places –who has failed to score a solitary point this season with his new team, Buildbase BMW.
His team-mate John Laverty didn’t race at Oulton due to injury.
Clogher man Keith Farmer, was a surprise winner in the Superstock 600 championship.
The nephew of the late Mark Farmer is only in his second season of tarmac racing but now sits second in the championship table.
Glenn Irwin and Cody Nally both registered DNFs with Lisburn’s Stuart Elwood 21st. In the 125cc British Championship, local men Matthew Percy and Andy Reid also failed to score.