Alastair Seeley has split from Northern Ireland’s TAS Suzuki team after a four-year association.
Seeley endured a difficult season in the British Superbike Championship this season after winning the Supersport title for the team in 2011.
He finished in a lowly 13th position overall in BSB following a series of disappointing results.
Seeley, who is now seeking a return to the British Supersport class in 2013, said: “I’ve had a great time working with Philip and Hector [Neill], all the boys in the team, Suzuki GB and our various sponsors.
“They took me to two British titles and I learned a lot about all aspects of the sport during this time.
“For that I’d like to thank them and Suzuki, but everything comes to an end at some point and I admire Philip for being honest with me so early after the season has finished,” he added.
“It allows me time to find a new position but I’ll still be calling in for a brew and a yarn with the boys next year.
“It’s a small industry and as Philip says, who knows, I could be back on a Suzuki at some point before I hang the leathers up.”
TAS Racing team manager Neill stressed that Seeley’s separation from the team was entirely amicable and refused to rule out a future link-up with the Carrick rider.
“It’s never an enjoyable day when you have to let a rider go, especially when he has brought success to your team, but we have parted on very good terms and who knows, we may see Alastair back on one of our GSX-Rs in the future,” said Neill.
“After a tough year in BSB, Alastair has decided that he would like to return to the Supersport class – a decision that I fully support. Unfortunately we are unable to offer Alastair a position in Supersport at this time, as our main focus will again be in British Superbikes.
“There are only a handful of top rides in any class, and the last thing I wanted to do was hold Alastair back as he needs to move swiftly to secure a deal for next season.”
“Everyone within the team wishes him well.”
Seeley clinched a hat-trick of wins at the North West 200 in May on the TAS Racing machines in the Superbike, Supersport and Superstock classes.
Australian Josh Brookes has already penned a new deal to remain in BSB next year with TAS Suzuki, when he could be joined by exciting young American prospect, PJ Jacobsen, who turned heads with a series of one-off rides this year.