Ballinamallard’s Josh Elliott will be out to retain his lead at the top of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship at this weekend’s World Superbike meeting at Donington Park.
Elliott holds a slender advantage of eight points over Trik-Moto BMW rider Hudson Kennaugh heading into the fourth round of the series at the legendary British venue.
The Morello Racing Kawasaki contender grabbed the runner-up spot in the previous round at Oulton Park on Bank Holiday Monday behind Tyco BMW’s Alastair Seeley, who is fresh from a stunning treble at last weekend’s Vauxhall International North West 200, where the Carrick man equalled Robert Dunlop’s record of 15 victories around the 8.9-mile course.
Seeley is oozing confidence, but young gun Elliott has emerged as a genuine title contender this season and finished in the runner-up spot at Donington in April in the opening round of the championship.
Another close race is in prospect as Seeley attempts to close the gap to the top after technical issues at the opening two rounds with the S1000RR undoubtedly cost him points.
The 35-year-old is 13 points behind fellow Ulsterman Elliott in third place in the championship standings and only five points behind South African Kennaugh.
A double British champion, Seeley will leave no stone unturned in his bid to clinch the title this season as he plots a return to the feature British Superbike class in 2016.
“The direction I’d like to go in is British Superbikes because I’ve done Supersport for a number of years and last year I felt that after just missing out on the title at the last round, it was time for a change,” Seeley said.
“If I could win the Superstock 1000 title then I’d like to think there’s a good chance that I might stay with the team and jump onto one of the Superbikes the following year.”
Along with Seeley and Elliott, Andy Reid from Jordanstown will also share the world stage this weekend with factory Kawasaki star Jonathan Rea, who has built up a commanding lead in the World Superbike Championship after winning eight of the ten races held so far.
Reid, who competes for Keith Flint’s Team Traction Control Yamaha outfit in the British Supersport class, has been called into the Core Motorsport Thailand team as a replacement for Ratthapark Wilairot.
He has been given special dispensation to ride for a different manufacturer as a wildcard and the young prospect is eager to make his mark.
“I want to get a solid result but at the same time I always want to be fighting for the win, that’s just me,” Reid said.
“I feel we can be in a strong position.”