Alastair Seeley in IFS Yamaha deal for Ulster short circuit season
Record North West 200 winner Alastair Seeley will concentrate on the domestic short circuit racing scene in Northern Ireland this year.
The Carrickfergus man will ride Yamaha machinery under the IFS Global Logistics banner in the Ulster Superbike rounds.
Seeley, who is a two-time British champion after winning the British Superstock 1000 title in 2009 and the Supersport crown in 2011, has switched his focus to racing at home after struggling to secure a suitable ride in the British championship.
The 41-year-old rode in the GP2 Cup within the British Supersport Championship last season and finished fifth in the class, claiming a win at Silverstone.
Following a test day at Bishopscourt in Co Down, Seeley confirmed the deal to ride the IFS Yamaha machines and said he was ‘looking forward to putting on a good show’.
“After a good day’s test I can announce that I’ll be racing in the Irish Superbike and Supersport championships onboard the IFS Global Logistics Yamaha machinery.
“I’d like to thank Graeme Hanna, Simon Barron and Geoffrey Barron for the opportunity.
“Apart from the Sunflower most years, the North West 200 and a few one-off rounds in 2015 and 2017, I haven’t raced a full season at home since 2009 so I’m looking forward to hitting the tracks and putting on a good show for the fans, sponsors and of course my team.”
Randalstown man Gerard Kinghan previously rode the IFS Yamaha R1 in the Superbike class but announced his retirement from the sport last month.
With the cancellation of the North West 200 in two successive years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Seeley has been denied the chance to add to his record haul of 24 victories around the 8.9-mile Triangle course.
However, he intends to return to the event in 2022 as he bids for a milestone quarter century of wins.
In an interview earlier this year with BBC NI, Seeley said: “If I get back to the North West I feel I could add to my 24 wins.
“I’m sad to see it go but there’s not much we can do as you have to follow the advice and the protocols to get this Covid-19 out of the way. Safety is paramount.
“It wouldn’t be a good idea to get big crowds together if there was a chance coronavirus might kick off again.”
Motorcycle racing in Northern Ireland is currently suspended until June due to Covid-19 restrictions, but the first short circuit race is set for Saturday, June 5 at Kirkistown.
At present, seven rounds are scheduled, with two meetings at Kirkistown (June 5 and September 4), four at Bishopscourt (July 17/18, August 7, August 21 and September 18/19) and one round at St Angelo in Enniskillen on October 2.
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