Seeley out for revenge after Easton edges it
Saintfield-based Mar-Train Yamaha were celebrating after Stuart Easton pipped Alastair Seeley by less than a 10th of a second after 12 frenetic laps around Oulton Park in another epic British Supersport race.
Scot Easton and Ulsterman Seeley started from first and second on the grid at the Cheshire venue after qualifying with a 100th of a second separating the pair and they continued that domination throughout the race when they were never more than two 10ths of a second apart.
Seeley led for six laps and Easton for six, but the latter was ahead when the chequered flag was unfurled.
Seeley and his Gearlink Kawasaki led onto the last lap but Easton nipped ahead at the first corner, Old Hall, with the Carrick rider trying all he knew to retake the lead, the pair going through the final bend rubbing shoulders.
Hawick rider Easton hung on to nick victory and take the championship lead from Seeley by two points.
Second Mar-Train Yamaha rider Glenn Irwin was sixth and Antrim's John Simpson 16th.
The battle resumes today with the feature supersport race and the action is sure to set pulses racing once again with Seeley (below) looking for revenge before the pair clash again at the Vauxhall North West 200 on Saturday week.
In today's British Superbike races Tyco Suzuki rider Josh Brookes starts race one from third on the grid behind Alex Lowes and championship leader Shayne Byrne with Clogher rider Keith Farmer completing the front row.
Meanwhile a tremendous day's action was enjoyed by a huge crowd at Saturday's Tandragee 100 road races, Michael Dunlop – a late entry looking to put miles on his superbike before the North West 200 – scoring a runaway double in the Open and Around A Pound Tandragee 100 feature races, setting the fastest lap of the day on his very last lap at 108.992mph.
The action some 26 seconds behind the MD Racing Honda was not for the faint hearted with Michael Pearson and Derek Sheils fighting tooth and nail for the runner-up berth, clashing fairings on the last lap rounding the final bend both going for the same piece of road, Sheils getting the nod by two 10ths of a second.
Pearson claimed second in the Open race with up and coming Shaun Anderson third.
The race of the day was undoubtedly the six-lap supersport contest that had five riders battling for supremacy never more than a few yards apart.
The result was in doubt right to the chequered flag was unfurled with Pearson and Wayne Kirwan taking the inside line of a slower rider at the final bend and accelerating across the finish line side by side in a photo finish, Kirwan winning by three 1000ths of a second with Derek McGee third.
Kirwan immediately dedicated his win to the memory of John Donnan, who lost his life at Tandragee six years ago and for whom Kirwan rode at the time.
Jamie Hamilton continued his winning form with another Supertwin victory on his Vauxhall Dealers KMR Kawasaki ahead of another young charger, William Davison.
William Dunlop was the winner of the 250GP race, while young Armoy rider Sam Wilson took the 125/Moto3 race.
Mark Hanna and James Kelly shared the junior and senior support race honours, with Gavin Lupton, who won the 400cc race, second in both.