North West 200 ride fills Alastair Seeley full of confidence
With momentum gathering towards the start of the 2014 motorcycle racing campaign, two local teams -- Mar-Train and Tyco Suzuki -- travelled to Almeria in Spain for early pre-season testing.
Both teams have new recruits in their teams for 2014 with Alastair Seeley joining Tim and Sonya Martin's British Supersport championship winning Mar-Train team for another crack at the British series, in which Seeley finished runner-up last year.
William Dunlop has joined Guy Martin on the Tyco Suzuki machines he hopes will lead to International road racing success in the season ahead.
Seeley, who had to give best to Stuart Easton and the Mar-Train Yamaha in BSS last year, was well impressed with his new mount after the initial test, saying:"It's always good to get the opening test of the season out of the way -- to blow away the winter cobwebs. It was an opportunity to ride the Mar-Train bikes for the first time.
"The supersport R6 Yamaha is an awesome piece of kit as I expected, having followed it quite a few times last year. I also had my first ride on the big Kawasaki I will ride for the team at the North West 200 and it certainly felt it will be the right tool for the job come May."
Seeley was of course a double winner at the North West last year in the Thursday evening races and is sure to be a front runner again this year in what is his only road race appearance of the season.
Dunlop, meanwhile, was getting to grips with his new Suzuki superbike, having joined the Moneymore-based outfit during the winter months and is relishing the prospect of attacking the North West, TT and Ulster Grand Prix looking for that elusive first superbike win at the 'big three' internationals.
After the test, Dunlop commented: "I'm delighted with the Tyco Suzuki Superbike. The feel I got from the bike pretty much instantly was brilliant. It's a strong bike, but so easy to set up and it inspires confidence, which I needed. I can't wait to get racing on it."
Both teams now head to Cartegena, also in Spain, for this weekend's testing where the Tyco Suzuki will have new BSB recruits John Hopkins and Josh Waters in action alongside their supersport contender Taylor Mackenzie.
Meanwhile, Classic TT organisers are appealing for people with bikes formerly ridden by Joey Dunlop to come forward, as they would like them to appear at a one-off display at this year's festival, running from 16-31 August.
The theme running through this year's Classic TT is titled 'Joey Dunlop -- Road Racing Legend' and the Department of Economic Motorsport Team on the island is sourcing relevant bikes that the legendary record 26-time TT winner raced during his career in what is hoped will be the largest collection of race bikes ever in one place.
Anyone wishing to contact the Department can do so on 00(44)1624686815 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.