British Supersport Championship finale may go East
Temple-based Mar-Train Racing will take a controversial 19 point advantage into the final two races in this season's British Supersport Championship in just 10 days time at Brands Hatch in Kent.
Ironically, the lead that their Scottish rider Stuart Easton takes into the final round is over Carrick's Alastair Seeley on the Gearlink Kawasaki – one of team owner Tim Martin's main targets for 2014 following Easton's announcement that he will return to the British Superbike class with PBM Motorsport next season.
Never one to mince his words, Temple businessman Martin, whose team lost out in a similar scenario last year on the final day, said: "From our point of view the pressure is definitely on Alastair, as we don't need to win now at Brands, we just need to finish behind him.
"If we also take into consideration Stuart moving to Superbike next season, I feel it's an even greater incentive for him as he wants to leave the Supersport class as champion, which is obviously good for us."
Easton's disastrous race one crash and fourth place in race two at Silverstone last weekend, in stark contrast to Seeley's indomitable victory and hard-fought third, looked to have reduced the deficit to just six points – handing the mental advantage baton to the Gearlink Kawasaki man going into the final weekend.
But the subsequent 10 second penalty for the race two incident with Samsung Honda's Jason O'Halloran demoted Seeley to 10th, promoting Easton to third – leaving a more comfortable outlook for the Scot and Mar-Train going into the final round.
"I'm not sure if it's the politically correct thing to say, but I didn't see a lot wrong with the move that Alastair made," said the Mar-Train boss, after reviewing the race footage.
"I think the marker was put down after the Lowes/Byrne incident at Assen and they had to be seen to do something, although rules are rules and we'll take the third place and extra points. That's racing," he added.
The final round of the championship at Brands Hatch is obviously the main focus for Mar-Train Racing and Easton, but will not be his final foray in the team's blue and white livery.
Easton and his Mar-Train Racing R1 Yamaha will be at tonight's launch for the forthcoming Sunflower Trophy Races on October 26, where he will look to go out in style – by winning both Supersport and Superbike classes at the Bishopscourt event.
Seeley in contrast is still on the hunt for a Superbike ride for the end of season showpiece at Bishopscourt, and despite the understandable speculation linking him to Mar-Train he does have other options.
The Carrick ace has had a couple of bites at the Superbike cherry previously, but has a firm offer from a leading BSB team to test in the coming weeks.
He has also been invited to test a World Superbike Kawasaki, at Jerez on October 22, by former World Supersport champion Andrew Pitt.
Win or lose this season's BSB title, Seeley is in big demand, whether he ends up residing in Lucca, Italy riding for Pitt in World Supersport or taking on another year in British Supersport with current team Gearlink or Mar-Train Racing.
But it will take nothing away from this season's grand finale at Brands Hatch in 10 days.
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