‘Wee Wizard’ Seeley keeps options open after Mar-Train’s withdrawal

Motorcycling corresponent Maurice Montgomery keeps you on track with the latest from East Antrim’s top riders in his weekly round-up.

Alastair Seeley
Alastair Seeley
Alastair Seeley

With team Mar-Train Yamaha Racing’s announcing its withdrawal from British Supersport in 2015, Carrick rider Alastair Seeley remains upbeat about getting a deal sorted for next season.

Talking to the Times before he headed off for the penultimate round of the British Supersport championship at Silverstone, the ‘Wee Wizard’ revealed: “I knew it was happening so it wasn’t a surprise. I have been talking to other teams already putting the feelers out.

“I spoke to a few at Assen and I will talk to more at this weekend’s Silverstone meeting and at the final round at Brands Hatch and see what happens.

“With Yamaha not updating the R6 for next season it is a non-starter. In fact, to ride in the Supersport class you nearly need a Triumph. They are hard to beat.

“Maybe I will give the class a miss altogether next season and return to Superbikes. It is really too early to say.

“The one definite is I will be giving it my best shot at Silverstone for the Mar-Train Yamaha team. I will also be riding the Mar-Train Yamaha at the Sunflower meeting in October, so that is also something to look forward to.”

Tim Martin of Mar-Train added: “Mar-Train Racing has enjoyed three consecutive seasons in British Supersport, with championship success coming our way in 2013. But we have decided to take a sabbatical from the series in 2015 to concentrate on other projects.

“This season double British champion Alastair Seeley has done the team proud with six wins from his nine podiums to date, and as previously mentioned, despite a 55-point deficit, retaining the title is still mathematically possible and we will give it our best shot.”

Irwin looking forward to Silverstone

Fellow Carrick rider Glenn Irwin, who also competes in the British Supersport class, is looking forward to Silverstone after the disappointments of round 10 at Assen.

“It is my favourite track and I know that it is Alastair’s as well, so it should be a good contest between us as we close in on third in the championship.

“At Assen I suppose I was chasing wins. Nothing else counted and with what happened with the crash it has made third in the series so much harder, but I know that I can win at Silverstone and close the gap on Alastair.

“The only problem, I suppose, is that if I can win he won’t be far behind. It would be good though if we both went to the final round at Brands with the result between us deciding the third place in the championship,” smiled Irwin.

Reid wants championship

Jordanstown’s Andy Reid will be looking to regain the lead in the Pirelli 600 British Superstock series where he trails Kyle Ryde by three points after Donington Park.

The FFX Yamaha rider is more than capable of doing the job in hand and is confident of success at Silverstone.

“I have now got two more rounds left to secure the title and it would be nice to leave Silverstone with a healthy lead going into Brands Hatch to take the pressure off for the last race,” he said. “I enjoy Silverstone so I am looking to take the win and the 25 points.”

In the same class, Carrick rider Andrew Irwin is chasing a strong finish to his season on the MWR Kawasaki. He has had a few offs this year but on his day he has the speed to run with the front men as he proved at Brands Hatch earlier in the season.

Sunflower Trophy meeting

The prestigious Sunflower Trophy Motorcycle Races, which are promoted by the Hillsborough Club, will this year take place on October 24 and 25 at the Bishopscourt Racing Circuit.

This event will host the final round of the Irish and Ulster Short Circuit Championships. As well as our local stars, we expect to see many of the top British Superbikes competitors grace the Co Down circuit for this end-of-season meeting.

Gilpin celebrates Lorenzo’s win

Ballyclare’s Movistar Yamaha technician Ian Gilpin was celebrating with the rest of the team after Jorge Lorenzo took victory in a chaotic dry and wet MotoGP race at Aragon, Spain ahead of Aleix Espargaro and British star Cal Crutchlow.

Lorenzo defied both his rivals and the changing weather to deliver a master class in Grand Prix riding and claim his first victory of the season.

Barr injured in Latvia

Doagh rider Martin Barr helped Team Ireland to 19th at the MX des Nations in Latvia but picked up a season-ending shoulder injury for his troubles.

The team which consisted of Barr, Stuart Edmonds and late replacement for Graeme Irwin, Gordon Crockard, missed out to Finland for a direct entry to the final and had to race in the ‘B’ final for their place in the main event. Barr, however, was in the form of his life and took the win with Edmonds fourth and Crockard 19th.

But Barr’s race lasted just half a lap in the final when he dislocated his left shoulder as he landed off a jump.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “When I lifted my hand it popped back in and I continued to finish 32nd. Unfortunately I couldn’t start race two and so lost any chance of the team finishing higher than they did.

“It means now that I am heading to the hospital instead of the final race of the season. It was a pity because I was enjoying the event but that’s motocross you are no sooner up until you’re back down again.”

The French team of Dylan Ferrandis, Gautier Paulin and Steven Frossard won the event.