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Seeley is determined to pass Dunlop and set new North West benchmark

By Stephen Davison

Published 03/05/2016

Alastair Seeley and his RAF Reserves/Briggs BMW
Alastair Seeley and his RAF Reserves/Briggs BMW

Can Alastair Seeley become the most successful rider of all time at the North West 200? That's the burning question ahead of this year's event, which gets under way next week.

The 'Wee Wizard' equalled the late Robert Dunlop's tally of 15 wins on the 8.9-mile Triangle circuit last season, and now he is determined to move ahead.

"It would mean a lot to get that 16th win," the 36-year-old said. "I started out at the North West just having a bit of craic and then the wins started tallying up and over the last few years they have been coming in twos and threes."

Initially, the Carrickfergus man didn't pay a lot of attention to the record.

"I saw Robert on 15," he explained. "At one stage I was on 10 and then we got a couple more and last year we rolled up on 12 and got a hat-trick. It is hard to get one win at the North West but to get three is unbelievable."

Now that Seeley is within touching distance, he is determined to stamp his authority on the record books.

"I would like to get one but it would be nice to get a few more and stretch it a little bit," he smiled. "Records are always there to be broken and I am sure if I do it then any mark that I set will be broken in the future.

"I didn't start winning at the North West until I was 28 whereas these young guys coming through are 21 or 22."

Seeley, who will be on the same Superbike-spec S1000RR BMW he rode last year but in RAF Reserves/Briggs livery rather than the Tyco colours he won on in 2015, sees the biggest threat coming from Lee Johnston on the East Coast Construction/Burdens BMW. The Fermanagh man beat Seeley in last year's Superstock race.

"He will be the man to beat," Seeley admitted. "Lee will be strong. Then there is Ian Hutchinson, the Dunlops, William and Michael, Bruce Anstey, Conor Cummins and Gary Johnson - it wont be easy."

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