Alastair Seeley scored his first victory of the season for Tyco BMW at Oulton Park on Monday to head into next week’s Vauxhall International North West 200 on a high.
Seeley had been plagued by bad luck at the previous two rounds of the Pirelli National Superstock Championship at Donington Park and Brands Hatch, but the Carrick rider was able to put it behind him by returning to the top step on a day when Tommy Bridewell also delivered a victory in the MCE British Superbike class for the Moneymore team.
The Carrickfergus rider had been battling with series leader Josh Elliott (Morello Kawasaki) throughout the race until the red flags came out with three laps to run after Tom Tunstall crashed out on the exit of Shell, with his machine lying in the middle of the track.
Seeley was declared the winner from Ballinamallard lad Elliott, with South Africa’s Hudson Kennaugh taking third.
The 35-year-old will now make his final preparations for the North West 200, where Seeley is aiming to close in on Robert Dunlop’s all-time tally of 15 victories on the north coast.
“We knew it was going to be a long race but all through practice and qualifying we could run pretty consistent times towards the end,” he said.
“After about six laps the tyres started to go off and the bike was moving about a bit but we settled down and tried to stay consistent.
“When I saw there were four laps left I decided to put a bit of a charge on but then unfortunately the red flag came out and I hope the guys involved are okay,” Seeley added.
“It’s nice to get the win because we had a bit of bad luck at a couple of rounds and now it’s starting to change.
“Now we head off to the North West 200 brimming with confidence and hopefully we can keep the ball rolling.”
Runner-up Elliott, who extended his championship lead over Kennaugh to eight points, was disappointed the race was brought to a premature halt but remains in a positive frame of mind after another impressive ride on the ZX-10R.
“I was really hoping that the red flag wouldn’t come out because in the past few years it has come and ruined the race,” said Elliott.
“I was just lining Alastair up and I could see where he was weaker than me so I was trying my best to stay behind right behind him.
“We were battling, but I thought it would be wiser to stay behind him and try and make a move on the last lap like [I did] at Brands,” he added.
“It’s great to get another podium and second place is more points and I’m still ahead in the championship, so it’s all good.”