Belfast Telegraph

Seeley eyes North West win

By Paul Lindsay

British Supersport Championship leader Alastair Seeley openly admits he will have one eye on the Vauxhall International North West 200, when he competes this Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday during round two at Oulton Park.

Seeley has 10 wins at the North West triangle, and will be looking to give new team, Saintfield-based Mar-Train Racing, their maiden North West victories on May 15 and 17.

But for now the diminutive Carrick man must concentrate on the ‘day job’ and protect his early championship lead in British Supersport, as the Wee Wizard from Carrick explained.

“At the minute the North West is starting to creep into my mind, but once we get out on track I’ll be okay. Last year was the same and we just focussed on the wins and got one around here.

“It would be nice to climb off the top step and take that up to the North Coast with Mar-Train Racing, but we have to make sure and not get injured like John McGuinness McGuinness and Michael Dunlop have done on the run in to the North West.”

The anticipated return to Irish national road racing by Dungannon’s Ryan Farquhar, should almost single-handedly guarantee the organisers of today’s 54th Around a Pound Tandragee 100 Road Races in County Armagh a bumper crowd.

Farquhar returns to action with a phenomenal tally of 199 career victories and a top step today in the Supertwin class — his only ride at Tandragee — would almost certainly guarantee the 38-year-old father of two all the headlines should he break that magical 200 race wins’ barrier.

Farquhar will be joined at Tandragee and his KMR/SGS Kawasaki team by former North West 200 Superstock race winner Keith Amor, who also makes a return to racing after a forced sabbatical through injury.

Amor hasn’t raced on the Irish roads since the Ulster Grand Prix back in 2011, but the wily Scottish ace will be hard to beat around the ultra-fast Tandragee circuit on both his KMR/SGS Kawasaki Supertwin and Brian Hull’s Rig Deluge Honda Supersport machine – despite not having raced there since 2009.

Southern riders Derek Sheils and Derek McGee showed lots of pedigree at last weekend’s Cookstown 100 road races, but it was newcomer Dan Kneen who came through from group B to win the feature race for Cookstown B.E Racing.

It will be a big ask for the Manxman to repeat that feat at Tandragee, but I do expect to see him battling for podium honours with Derek Sheils on the CD Racing Kawasaki and Mullingar man Derek McGee, also Kawasaki mounted.

Tyco Suzuki rider William Dunlop is a last minute entry and although the Ballymoney man will only have access to his Supersport machine — he will add serious pedigree to the already impressive grid.

Roads close this morning at 10.00am for a full race programme that includes an impressive prize fund of just over £11,000.

Toomebridge MotoGP star Michael Laverty is in action this weekend at Jerez in Spain. The PBM Motorsport rider finished yesterday’s Free Practice in 22nd.

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