Belfast Telegraph

Seeley steps up for new British Superbike shot

By Paul Lindsay

After somewhat protracted contract negotiations, Carrick’s Alastair Seeley has finally been named as Tyco Suzuki’s second British Superbike rider for their 2012 campaign.

Wee Wizard Seeley, who won this year’s British Supersport title with the Moneymore-based team by a solitary point, will line-up alongside Australian Josh Brookes in the all new blue and white Tyco livery – having previously campaigned in Relentless colours for Hector and Philip Neill’s outfit.

Since joining TAS Racing in 2009, after an unexpected split with Ballymoney based JMF Yamaha, Seeley has gone on to lift two British championship titles — Superstock in 2009 and the aforementioned nail-biter of a Supersport title back in October.

In addition, Seeley has also forced himself into the enviable position as ‘the man they all have to beat’ at the International North West 200 each May, having taken five wins since 2008. He also ended Phillip McCallen’s 13 year reign as the last Ulsterman to win a Superbike race on the north coast with another memorable display in 2010.

Seeley is obviously delighted with his new contract, but in his usual single-minded manner, he explained his goal for next term. “Once we get some pre-season testing under our belts my main aim is to win the championship. I want to be the first rider to win three British championships and I don’t see why we can’t be in with a shout,” he declared.

Seeley took nine wins during 2009 and 10 this season en-route to his championship successes, and although BSB poses a slightly more arduous task, he believes those victories stand him in good stead for the new rules implemented by BSB for 2012.

“With no electronic rider aids allowed next season I think that will give me a little bit of an advantage, having already won two championships without them. Hopefully it will play into our hands,” he added. “It will all be down to throttle control and I’ll be spending the winter honing my skills on the Trials bike and also out Motocrossing. I really can’t wait to get started.”

Team manager Philip Neill is equally delighted at being able to give Seeley a second shot at BSB, and also believes the diminutive Carrick man can be a genuine title contender.

“It’s fantastic to be able to confirm Alastair as our second rider in BSB for next year and also for another North West 200 campaign in May,” said Philip.

“We have been on a tremendous journey with Alastair since we brought him into our set-up at the start of 2009. He was a relative unknown in British championship terms back then, so to be able to turn him into a double champion in such a short space of time is very satisfying.

“After his test performance recently at Portimao for Crescent Suzuki, standing in for the injured John Hopkins — at a track he’d never seen before, posting more than respectable times — we believe he can be a genuine title contender in 2012.”

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