Belfast Telegraph

I'll push past wrist pain at Sunflower, says Seeley

Driving on: Alastair Seeley will be in action at the Sunflower Trophy meeting despite recent wrist injury
Driving on: Alastair Seeley will be in action at the Sunflower Trophy meeting despite recent wrist injury

By Roy Harris

Alastair Seeley, the record holder for most wins at the North West 200 with 25, is the latest addition to the Sunflower Trophy meeting this weekend.

The Carrick ace will ride the 600cc IFS/YRP Yamaha in both Supersport races and the Sunflower race.

Seeley said: "Unfortunately, due to the wrist injury received at Oulton Park, it may be an uphill struggle to be on the pace. But, as always, I aim to give it my best for both my sponsors and the fans."

Supersport will also see new British Superstock 600cc champion Korie McGreevy make his first home appearance since clinching the title at Brands Hatch last weekend.

However, Jason Lynn is the man in form and will be in the mix, along with debutant Harry Truelove, Richard Kerr, Eunan McGlinchey (McAdoo Kawasaki), Kevin Keyes, TJ Toms, Mike Browne, Sam Laffins, Ross Patterson and Simon Reid.

Buildbase and team owner Stuart Hicken have been long-time supporters of the Sunflower meeting and go into the Superbike races with a trio of potential podium riders.

Last year's treble winner Richard Cooper will be joined on Buildbase Suzukis by David Allingham, who had his first ride for the team at Brands, and Sunflower newcomer Leon Jeacock, who finished 15th at Brands in the Superstock 1000cc race.

Christian Iddon makes a farewell appearance on the Tyco BMW, the Bishopscourt lap record holder looking to go out on a high for the Hector and Philip Neill team.

Qualifying takes place from 9.15am this morning, with five races planned for this afternoon, including the first Superbike clash of the weekend.

Three warm-up sessions from 9.15am tomorrow morning will be followed by a 12-race programme.

Meanwhile, a new look and a new sponsor partnership for the Irish Motorcycle of the Year Awards was announced yesterday.

Charles Hurst Motorcycles and Cornmarket Insurance have combined forces to be the joint sponsors of the biggest night of the year in Irish motorcycling, to be staged in the Crowne Plaza Hotel on January 17.

New sponsors Charles Hurst are the leading motorcycle dealer in Belfast, while Cornmarket is one of the most reputable insurance brokers in Northern Ireland.

Awards ambassador and former MotoGP star Jeremy McWilliams said: "It's great news to welcome these two iconic Northern Ireland companies as partners for the Irish Motorcycle Awards."

Five-time World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea, who is favourite to retain the main award, has announced that he will be able to attend.

He said: "I really look forward to the awards because it is a top-level event in Northern Ireland. I get to hang out with a lot of my peers and also people from other disciplines of the sport, it's a pretty cool night.

"Bringing all the big names in Northern Ireland motorsport together in one room can make us proud that we keep motorcycling on the map here and also fight at world level."

Rea completes his 2019 season in Qatar today and tomorrow, his opening floodlit race this evening at 6pm, the Superpole race following at 2pm tomorrow and then the final race of the season at 6pm (all UK time).

On the road racing front, TT bosses have suspended the all-electric TT Zero event for the next two years.

The electric TT has had a period of milestones and success from its inaugural race, however it has become increasingly challenging for organisers to produce a field of more than 6-10 runners.

Recently, it has become a Mugen benefit - six wins in the last six years and an astonishing lap record of 121.9mph. Presently, no one else can live with that.

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