MOTORBIKES: Seeley confident he can push Elliott all the way

Alistair Seeley. INLT 35-641-CON
Alistair Seeley. INLT 35-641-CON

Carrick’s Alastair Seeley qualified the Tyco BMW fastest for the Pirelli 1000 Superstock race at Cadwell Park at the weekend, but it was series leader Josh Elliott who was leading after Seeley made a mess of the start in a race that was red-flagged on the second lap.

In the restart, however, the ‘Wee Wizard’ got it right and led, only for Elliott to force his way to the front, followed by Joe Burns. Burns crashed at the halfway stage, nearly taking Seeley with him, while Elliott opened up a winning margin of over two seconds before the red flag was brought out again on lap five.

Eugene Laverty is looking forward to Silverstone.

Eugene Laverty is looking forward to Silverstone.

The result was confirmed, leaving Seeley 22 points adrift in the series, with three races left.

“I’ll take those 20 points,” said Seeley. “We know what we have to do, but I’ve still every confidence we can take it to the final day and the final race of 2015.”

In the supersport class, Carrick’s Glenn Irwin had a frustrating weekend, finishing fifth in Saturday’s 12-lap sprint behind winner and runaway championship leader Luke Stapleford. Jordanstown’s Andy Reid brought the TTC Yamaha home in sixth.

Sunday’s 16-lap feature race saw Gearlink rider Irwin finish seventh behind a great battle between winner Jake Dixon and Stapleford.

Laverty looks forward to Silverstone

Northern Ireland’s Aspar Honda rider Eugene Laverty is excited ahead of the race weekend at the Silverstone Octo British MotoGP and says the circuit is amongst his favourites because it suits his riding style.

It’s the closest the event local rider has to a home race and he is determined to convert his recent improvements into a race result in front of his family and friends.

“I’m really excited about Silverstone, not just because it’s my home race but also the fact that it’s one of my favourite circuits on the calendar,” he said. “Silverstone’s fast-flowing nature makes it really enjoyable to ride and it suits my style well.

“We expect temperatures to be much cooler than rounds previous and so we’ll have to be wary of that, particularly during the morning practice sessions.

“We’ve been much stronger since returning from the summer break and yet the past two races have yielded disappointing results. My aim is to set that record straight on Sunday with a convincing race finish. My Aspar Team continue to work as hard as ever and we’ll keep fighting until we achieve the results that we deserve.”

The MotoGP battle between Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo at the top of the table should produce some fireworks come race day as the fight moves to Silverstone for round 12 of the series.

Twelve months ago it was Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez who stole the show, but in 2015 the reigning world champion is finding the going tough and has only recently showed the form that won him last year’s title but he is facing an uphill battle with the two Movistar Yamaha’s of Lorenzo and Rossi.

In the last round at Brno, Lorenzo was in a class of his own with Marquez and Rossi having to settle for second and third.

Lorenzo won at Silverstone in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and only lost out to Marquez by 0.7 seconds in 2014, so unless the others find some way of matching the series leader he could easily extend his points tally by the end of the weekend.

The Octo British GP is the opportunity most British riders welcome as a chance to shine in front of their home fans and Bradley Smith on the Tech3 Yamaha, currently holding fifth in the championship, will be hoping to be the first Brit home come Sunday.

Cal Crutchlow is not having a great year on the CMW/ LCR Honda but Silverstone could be the race when his luck changes and he gets the result that will turn his season around.

If anyone needs a good result it must be Scott Reading on the factory supported Estrella Galicia Marc VDS Honda. He has struggled all year but again Silverstone is a circuit he like so maybe this will be the race that saves his season.

In the Moto2 class all British eyes will be on Sam Lowes on the Speed up machine. He has already won this year at Austin and would dearly love to repeat that at Silverstone.

In Moto3 Danny Kent leads the championship on the Leopard Racing Honda. He is striving to become the first British World Champion since Barry Sheene clinched the 500cc world title in 1977.