Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Seeley eyes return to Supersport class

Alastair Seeley is hoping for a return to Supersport racing after a frustrating British Superbike season

Three wins from five podiums at the North West 200 back in May and all the plaudits that come with it, is a scenario that most riders can only dream of, but if you’re Alastair Seeley — sadly that’s not enough to empower the fans and media from plotting your demise.

Seeley’s day job in British Superbike this season with Tyco Suzuki brought only heartache and frustration, and despite the diminutive Carrick lad standing on the podium on the opening day at Brands Hatch back in April — the rest was like a trip down the Sarenne Gorge ski run in France: a rapid descent with no looking back.

For a rider who scored 10 wins and 450 points on his way to a British Supersport title in 2011, this season in British Superbike became a lonely, painful existence, with failure to score a solitary point in the final nine races, as he explained.

“Since I came in to British championship I’ve always made progress and climbed the ladder if you like, so this year was a new experience for me,” said Seeley. “A lot of things just snowballed over the year and in the end I felt like I was riding hard but the lap times just wouldn’t come.

“My confidence was shot,” he openly admitted, but to his credit, he refused to throw the towel in.

“Yes, it would have been so easy to walk away and say stuff it. But that’s not how I operate and I dug in and did the best I could.

“Looking back now I didn’t want any more crashes.

“It’s okay crashing while fighting at the sharp end, but it demoralises your crew when you crash outside the points.”

Despite the 2012 season having just concluded on Sunday past, Seeley has already made his mind up that a move back to the Supersport class is his number one choice.

“Supersport suits my style better,” he remarked, further explaining his reasons by saying: “I couldn’t get away from that style this year if I’m honest and struggled to adapt.”

Having taken two British titles in four seasons with TAS Racing, the question everyone is asking is, will he still be there next season?

“Suzuki has looked after me, as have Philip and Hector Neill, and I need to speak to them first.

“But I’d say it’s time for a new challenge for both parties.

“I don’t want to point fingers but I do need to rebuild my profile.

“I have a number of options but I need to make sure I’m covered for the North West 200 next May, and I’d prefer not to be riding for two or three different manufacturers there.”

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