Belfast Telegraph

Carrick's Alastair Seeley in revival mode

By Paul Lindsay

Carrick's Alastair Seeley is out to rectify his embarrassing warm-up lap crash from a fortnight ago at Snetterton in Norfolk, during this weekend's British Supersport action at Knockhill in Scotland on Saturday and Sunday.

The Mar-Train Racing pilot's little faux pas has left him trailing series leader Billy McConnell on the Smith's Triumph by 31 points in the championship standings, with six races now completed from three rounds.

But as we have come to expect from the diminutive Ulsterman, he isn't even considering flicking the safety catch on the panic button just yet. Or maybe ever!

"It is what it is," was Seeley's brief summing up of the Snetterton mishap. "We looked over the data afterwards, but it's history now and we will head to Knockhill looking to close the gap on Billy and second placed man Graeme Gowland. I never hit the panic button, but we need to knuckle down now," he said.

Seeley won the British Supersport championship back in 2011 on TAS Suzuki machinery, but a valid statistic to consider was that he trailed main rival Ben Wilson by almost 60 points at one stage during the campaign.

As the history books now show, the championship went right down to the wire, with the former Carrick Grammar School pupil lifting the title by a solitary point on the final day in the final race at Brands Hatch.

This season, Wilson has moved up to the British Superbike class, with fellow Carrick man Glenn Irwin now on the Gearlink Kawasaki that Seeley took to second place in last year's championship.

Twelve months ago he was edged out by Scottish ace Stuart Easton on the Mar-Train Yamaha, but despite joining the Lisburn-based championship winners soon after, Seeley still looks less than his magical best so far this season.

"The Yamaha is a great package but definitely a bit more pernickety to set up," was Seeley's honest reply. "The Kawasaki was a more neutral set-up, but the Yamaha's weight bias is on the front and that's why we have been having issues with it backing in."

Paying credit to his team's work ethic, he added: "We haven't quite found the perfect set-up coming off fast straights into slow corners where we are coming down two and three gears.

"We've tried a few different clutch options and where the standard clutch is good in one area, the aftermarket Sigma is better in others. But the team are doing a great job and it's a matter of continuing that."

Speaking of the points deficit to perennial bridesmaid in the series McConnell, Seeley remarked on the strength of the British-built Triumph machinery, which are all around him this season on the grid.

"It seems to be that Triumph are dominating this year and can be very hard to deal with the way they punch off the corners. Some of them were also very fast on the Snetterton straights," explained Seeley, whose optimum goal is to score as many points as possible this weekend.

"The last thing we need is to fall off again," he grinned. "We need to score heavily in the points and try to keep those Triumphs of McConnell and Gowland behind us.

"What we really need is some wins to show them that Alastair Seeley and the Mar-Train Yamaha aren't finished just yet."

Belfast Telegraph


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