Alastair Seeley and Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing are the 2011 British Supersport champions. It's the third British title in seven seasons for the Northern Ireland based team and undoubtedly the closest finish ever recorded in the class. After 24 races this season, Seeley secured the title by just one point yesterday at Brands Hatch during the final round of 2011.
The Ulsterman entered Sunday's races 11 points down on main rival Ben Wilson and had it all to do after crashing out of the action on Saturday. In the opening encounter in patchy conditions Seeley tip-toed his way to second place and with Wilson fourth, the gap was reduced to just four points.
Starting the final race from the front row Seeley's game plan was to take the race to Ben Wilson, and with both men having accumulated nine wins apiece in the season long duel the large Brands Hatch crowd were always going to be guaranteed a grandstand finish.
Wilson led the early exchanges, but once Seeley got to the front there was only going to be one winner, taking the chequered flag for his 10th victory of the season and putting the all new GSX-R600 top of the pile. The Suzuki rider also took two fastest laps during the weekend and set a new outright track lap record for the Supersport class around the Brands Hatch GP circuit.
"That's the season over and the British Championship wrapped up. Philip and Hector gave me a job to do for the team this year and the new GSX-R600 was an awesome package just out of the crate. It's an amazing achievement for me, for the team and all the sponsors involved. It's been great racing with Ben all year; very exciting and I'm sure it made good TV for the fans.
"We didn't give each other an inch all year. I'm on top of the world after the win and after a small party tonight it'll be time to get ready for the Sunflower then a break out in Australia.
"When I heard the rain coming down on Sunday morning I knew I was being thrown a lifeline. I had to be smart in that first race and although I had a couple of moments I brought it home safe in second place. In the last race Ben tried to make a break but I managed to stay with him and found out where I was faster, then with the pace we were running all weekend I knew I could break him.
"When I got to the front and saw my board creeping up and up I got into the comfort zone. I was able to run my own lines and hit every apex, so yeah brilliant to take my second Championship with the team and I'd like to thank everyone for their effort this year."
Philip Neill - Team Manager:
"It was a very eventful season and we have to be extremely pleased to have won the British Supersport title with the new GSX-R600 in its first year. Normally new bikes don't win championships but we have a good team of boys behind us and obviously Alastair Seeley is the final ingredient. He showed us again how great a racing brain he has even though he made it a bit difficult for himself with one small mistake on Saturday.
"I think it was fitting there was only one point between him and Ben at the end, as Ben has also had a fantastic year. We're just very pleased to come out on top. It's very much a team effort and I'd like to thank all the guys in my team for all the hard work this season and obviously Suzuki, Relentless and all our other loyal partners for their continued support."
British Supersport Championship Sunday race one result:
1: Jack Kennedy (Colin Appleyard/ Macadam Racing Yamaha) 2: Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.157s 3: Christian Iddon (Oxford TAG Triumph) +2.399s 4: Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +4.230s 5: Paul Young (Oxford TAG Triumph) +6.714s
British Supersport Championship final race:
1: Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 2: Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) +2.384s 3: Jack Kennedy (Colin Appleyard/Macadam Racing Yamaha) +5.585s 4: Christian Iddon (Oxford TAG Triumph) +5.773s 5: Luke Stapleford (Profile Bournemouth Kawasaki) +13.041s
Final British Supersport Championship standings:
1 Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 4502 Ben Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) 449 3 Billy McConnell (Oxford TAG Triumph) 254 4 Paul Young (Oxford TAG Triumph) 237 5 Sam Warren (Seton Interceptor Yamaha) 191 6 Christian Iddon (Oxford TAG Triumph) 191