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Dropped Alastair Seeley still confident of adding to NW200 record

By Paul Lindsay

Having lamented his woes on his lack of a competitive paid ride for the 2017 season in the Belfast Telegraph only recently, North West 200 record holder Alastair Seeley was dealt a bitter blow only yesterday when he found out that the RAF BMW team would not be retaining his services for the 2017 British Superbike season.

Despite this setback, the record breaking 17-time winner at the Triangle, says he will definitely be on the Vauxhall International North West 200 grid next May.

Seeley said defiantly: "Who wouldn't want the current record holder on their bikes? I've already had offers of bikes from a few teams for the North West, but the British championship is my bread and butter and I want to get that sorted first."

Now 37, the Wee Wizard from Carrick has been racing as a full time professional since 1998.

Seeley is now chasing a ride in either the NW Supersport or Superstock classes for 2017, but the overriding factor is finding a team that is prepared to pay him a wage in the current climate.

Seeley won the 2009 British Superstock championship and the 600cc British Supersport series in 2011, both on TAS Suzukis. He is confident he will secure a new deal, but is openly frustrated by the demands team bosses are now making on riders in the British series.

"More and more teams want riders to bring money to secure a ride," he explained. "I've always been a regular podium finisher and fighting for the championship in both classes.

"After winning two British championships and being runner up three times, I didn't think I'd be in the position of having to buy a ride now by bringing money to the table. But I am open to offers," said Seeley, whose fiancé Danni is expecting their first child in the spring.

Seeley is determined to add to his North West 200 trophy haul but with new Superbikes set to appear on the grid from both Honda and Suzuki in 2017, he feels the competition at Portrush will be tougher than ever next May.

"There will be a big shake-up in the 1000cc class next year. BMW has had the advantage recently but it isn't clear at the moment which bike will be the one to be on," concluded Seeley who may well take up the offer of a Supertwin ride for the first time at the 2017 event.

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