Mar-Train Racing’s Alastair Seeley battled back from a heavy spill in qualifying on Saturday to win yesterday’s Motorsport British Supersport feature race at Oulton Park.
The Carrick man finished fifth in Saturday’s Sprint race after hurting his ribs in the spill, but Seeley showed his fighting spirit as he clinched a deserved win in difficult conditions in race two.
The 34-year-old made a poor start but clawed his way through the pack to pass long time leader and fellow Carrick man Glenn Irwin on the Gearlink Kawasaki, pulling way to win by four-and-a-half seconds.
Irwin held off a determined bid from Smiths Triumph rider Graeme Gowland to take a brilliant runner-up finish on a good day for the Northern Ireland pair.
Gowland’s team-mate and title contender Billy McConnell finished in fifth place behind Luke Mossey in the damp conditions.
Seeley, who is now third in the championship table and only four points behind leader Gowland, said: “It’s been an up and down weekend and yesterday we got quite a big bang in qualifying and I was struggling in the dry with the aggressiveness of the tight chicanes.
“The wet race today was a bit of a saviour; I got a terrible start and when the pace car came out I thought my chance was gone with the laps dropping away. But I got a feel for the conditions and it was quite greasy; we used quite a soft setting and I was able to slide in and out of the corners and it’s nice to get the win after yesterday.”
A delighted Irwin, who will now focus on making his road racing debut this week at the Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix, had no answer when Seeley came past and graciously admitted afterwards that the best man won.
“I heard a non-Triumph coming past me and it was Alastair [Seeley]; I had a quick look at him and we’ve had our disputes in the past, but up over the back section of that track I’ve never seen anyone slide a bike like that in fifth gear, flat-out,” said Irwin. “Hats off to him and he deserved to win.”
Ryuichi Kiyonari won yesterday’s opening MCE British Superbike race to complete a double following his victory on Saturday over Milwaukee Yamaha’s Josh Brookes and Shane Byrne on the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki, who again finished second and third yesterday.
The Cheshire circuit hosted a triple-header weekend and Aussie Brookes ended the day with a win as he powered away to clinch the race three spoils by 7.5 seconds from Byrne, with Dan Linfoot on the Quattro Plant Kawasaki in third.
Ulsterman Keith Farmer finished 17th and 13th in the first two races but ended with a DNF in the third encounter.
Jordanstown rider Andy Reid suffered a setback on the FFX Yamaha in the National Superstock 600 race when he crashed out, with Kyle Ryde taking victory to open a lead of 26 points in the title race.
Castlerock’s Marty Nutt won his first race of the season in the second Ducati TriOptions Cup race by half a second from Dennis Hobbs, while Josh Elliott was 13th in the National Superstock 1000 race, won by Danny Buchan.