Alastair Seeley narrowed the gap in the British Supersport Championship to just 11 points yesterday at Silverstone with his eighth victory of the year on the Relentless Suzuki by TAS GSX-R600 as team-mate Josh Brookes qualified his GSX-R1000 Suzuki on the front row for todya's opening Superbike encounter.
Seeley was involved in another great battle with series leader Ben Wilson during the nine-lap encounter. The duo swapped positions at the head of the field on more than 10 occasions, but all the drama was banked for the final lap when Wilson crashed out - his first DNF of the season. Seeley went on to take the victory on the GSX-R600, reducing the gap in the Championship standings with four races remaining.
"As everyone expected it was the usual ding-dong battle between Ben and me. When he went down I just made sure I didn't get too excited and crash myself. I could hear a Triumph behind me after that so I was just defending my lines and made sure of the win. During the race, we swapped positions a lot, but every time he came past I was able to hit straight back. The only thing was I couldn't relax and ride my own lines as he was diving in everywhere. It's made it interesting for tomorrow because we are P5 and P8 on the grid, but I'm confident of getting through and making a race of it. One thing's for sure, 11 points sounds a bit more promising than over 50, which is where we were coming into Donington, but we have to complete the job tomorrow and set-up an interesting final three races at Brands Hatch."
"Yeah, that was quite good today although it took us a bit more time to get up to speed than the rest of the guys. We did it quite late in qualifying, so I'll just suck-it-and-see tomorrow where we are. We have no real knowledge of what tyre-wear is going to be like and if I have one concern in any area, that's where it will be."
Philip Neill - Team Manager:
"It's been another dominant weekend so far from Alastair and he wasn't far-off the World Supersport times, which is very impressive, especially as he is on a new bike and it's his first season in Supersport. He showed us again today what a great racing brain he has and responded immediately to anything Ben threw at him. Ben did look a bit eager and on the ragged-edge today, but as I said before - the pressure has been off Alastair from quite a few rounds ago. This Championship has always been Ben's to lose.
"It was also really pleasing to see Josh and the boys find the set-up we needed in BSB qualifying. They worked hard in every session and we took a gamble that you would only take at this time of the season and it worked. It was a bit of a 'Eureka Moment,' so the pleasure we got from seeing his lap times tumble was really satisfying for everyone in the team. We had already mastered the set-up for the tight twisty circuits, so hopefully we have found a set-up and the correct ingredients for these fast flowing ones. Tomorrow we will be looking to push for race wins and I really do believe Josh is in the hunt. Tyre preservation will play a key part but no one will have perfect grip late in the race as Silverstone is quite an abrasive circuit."
British Supersport Race 1 - Silverstone [9 laps]: 1 Alastair Seeley [Relentless by TAS Suzuki]; 2 Luke Mossey [Triumph] +0.577; 3 Sam Warren [Yamaha] +2.095; 4 Christian Iddon [Triumph] +3.271; 5 Paul Young [Triumph] +3.452; 6 Billy McConnell [Triumph] +6.443
British Superbike Qualifying: 1 Michael Laverty [Yamaha] 2min:05.056; 2 John Hopkins [Suzuki] 2:05.133; 3 Josh Brookes [Suzuki] 2:05.511; 4 Michael Rutter [Ducati] 2:05.531; 5 Tommy Hill [Yamaha] 2:05.644; 6 Jon Kirkham [Suzuki] 2:06.224; 7 Martin Jessopp [Ducati] 2:06.225; 8 Peter Hickman [Honda] 2:06.361; 9 Graeme Gowland [Honda] 2:06.508; 10 Dan Linfoot [Honda] 2:06.735.