Belfast Telegraph

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Seeley aims for high five after signing new deal

By Roy Harris

Alastair Seeley, the most successful rider at the Vauxhall North West 200, says he wants to win five races at the 2018 event.

In a bid to add to his tally of 21 wins (10 Supersport, seven Superstock and four Superbike) the Carrickfergus rider will race a Yamaha R6 in the colours of the British Supersport championship team EHA Racing in both 600cc races around the 8.9mile Triangle next May.

Of course, the only man to win five races at the North West was Phillip McCallen in 1992. With Seeley riding in four events on main race day, he cannot equal McCallen’s feat of winning five in one day, but he has his sights firmly set on five race wins over both days of racing having won four last year, only losing out to Glenn Irwin by 0.172 seconds in a Superbike race and failing to finish the opening Supersport race.

A confident Seeley said: “Because of circumstances this year I want to improve and am extra motivated for next year, very determined and focused to show there is a reason why I am the record holder.

“I raced against the EHA team in the Supersport championship this year and saw first-hand how fast their bikes are and how professional the team is.”

The 38-year old continued: “Supersport is the class I’ve enjoyed the most wins in at the North West and the bikes suit my style and stature.

“I will be back in the British Supersport championship next season so I should be dialled-in coming to Portrush.

“It is also nice to be involved with another team that has a strong local connection with the event.”

EHA Racing is run by Edward Allingham, a businessman and former NW 200 competitor originally from Eglinton but now based in England.

His team has become one of the front-runners in British Supersport with his son David finishing fourth in this year’s championship and Ross Twyman taking sixth.

EHA Racing previously competed at the North West 200 in 2016 with Ben Wilson racing in the Superstock class on an Aprilia. Allingham admits that having Seeley on board is a major step up for his squad.

“We have wanted to bring the team home to Ireland and we got the opportunity to put Alastair on the bike,” he said.

“It’s really exciting to shake hands on the deal and we will be taking the North West 200 very seriously.

“With a rider like Alastair on our bike we have to aim to win and, although we are a young team, just in racing four years, we have the resources and experience to handle any pressure.

“We had eight podium finishes in the British championship this year and Alastair’s crew chief will be Ian Newton, a former North West 200 winner.”

Mervyn Whyte, NW 200 Event Director, said: “We are delighted to have another top class team like EHA Racing on the grid for 2018.

“The Allingham team have proved their capability in British Supersport and they will have the man with more wins than anyone else at the North West in the saddle.

“It can’t get much better!”

Belfast Telegraph

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