Thrills as Alastair Seeley is back in title mix
Carrick's Wee Wizard Alastair Seeley set up a grandstand British title finish in a scintillating Superstock 1000cc race at Oulton Park yesterday as he got the better of countryman Josh Elliott by a tenth of a second after 14 hard fought laps.
Seeley still trails Ballinamallard rider Elliott by 17 points in the championship chase with two rounds remaining and, on yesterday's evidence of both men's determination, it could go right to the wire.
They served up another thriller for the fans from the off yesterday.
Elliott and Seeley were clear at the front by half distance with Seeley sizing up just where and when he could make a pass on his rival's Morello Kawasaki.
Seeley made his move on the penultimate lap at Old Hall, taking his Tyco BMW as wide as possible on the final lap not allowing Elliott any opportunity to make a repass; his winning margin at the chequered flag being 0.121sec.
A delighted Seeley said: "I held back in the early stages and then as the grip levels dropped, the bike got easier to ride.
"I had a few looks at where I could make a pass on Josh and when I did it was a case of riding defensively to get the win. I knew I had to win and will keep fighting to the end and put the pressure on to see what happens."
Elliott commented: "I had a few gearbox problems and a few hairy moments in the race.
"When Alastair got past I just sat behind to try a last lap move, but it didn't work. We still have a good lead in the championship."
Two epic British Supersport races over the weekend saw Newtownabbey rider Andy Reid score his debut win in the class during Saturday afternoon's sprint race, setting the fastest lap to win by a tenth of a second from Jake Dixon.
In yesterday's 15-lap race, a ding-dong battle between Reid, his Monster Energy Yamaha team mate James Rispoli, Dixon and championship leader Luke Stapleford went down to the final corner of the final lap where Reid literally nudged his way into the lead only to suffer a massive high-side within sight of the chequered flag, fortunately escaping with a suspected wrist and rib injury.
Victory went to Dixon from Rispoli, Stapleford and Carrick's Glenn Irwin, a first lap faller in Saturday's race.
Dixon said: "That was a tough race. I had braked as late as possible, but Andy still came past on my inside, then when he got on the power the bike spat him off over the bars."
Tyco BMW saw their two riders Tommy Bridewell and Michael Laverty achieve the team's early season objective by progressing into the final six riders who will fight for the British Superbike Championship after the weekend's triple header where Josh Brookes won the middle race of three while defending champion Shakey Byrne won the other two.
Byrne celebrated the final race win of the triple-header weekend at Oulton Park by just 0.394s from arch rival Josh Brookes but the defending champion still trails the Milwaukee Yamaha rider by just two points ahead of the Showdown opener at Assen on September 20.
Despite a huge high-side out of third position in race two, Bridewell took a fighting third in the final race while Laverty took seventh, ninth and 12th positions to claim his spot in the showdown.
Meanwhile in yesterday's finale to the Irish road racing season at Killalane, Michael Dunlop was in unstoppable form winning both the Grand Final and Open championship races with brother William third in both.
However, this was enough for William to clinch the Irish Open road race championship to add to his Supersport championship success.
William won both the championship and non-championship Supersport races yesterday; a feat that saw him go through the Irish season undefeated in the class riding the CD / IC Caffrey Yamaha.