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Seeley and Irwin set for for Sunflower Showdown

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Author Topic: Seeley and Irwin set for for Sunflower Showdown  (Read 269 times)
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« on: October 24, 2014, 08:03:31 am »

Belfast Newsletter

Alastair Seeley will treat fierce rival Glenn Irwin with the utmost respect as the pair prepare to wage war in Saturday’s Sunflower Trophy showpiece at Bishopscourt.

Seeley has enjoyed number one status as Ulster’s leading light at British championship level in recent years, but young pretender Irwin is threatening to take over the mantle from his fellow Carrickfergus adversary following a breakthrough season on the Gearlink Kawasaki.

The 24-year-old proved he belongs at the top in the British Supersport Championship this year, winning five times to finish the campaign in an excellent fourth place.

Seeley bagged eight wins on the Mar-Train Racing Yamaha but had to settle for second in the series behind Smiths Triumph rider Billy McConnell, with several DNFs proving costly in his bid to retain the crown for the Northern Ireland team.

The pair have a mutual respect for each other’s talent on a motorcycle, but it’s a given that there will be no love lost between them as they go head to head at the County Down track in the Supersport races with local bragging rights at stake.

“Glenn has stepped it up this year and found a bit of form,” Seeley said.

“He managed to carry it through the season and you’ve got to treat him now as one of the frontrunners, like Billy McConnell and Graeme Gowland in British Supersport.

“It’s a good chance for us to race in front of our friends and family at home after spending most of the season away and I’m sure it will be the same as the British Supersport races – if you want to win you’ve got to be ready to rub fairings.

“There’s a strong rivalry there as we’re both from Carrick and Glenn will want to win as much as I do.”

Seeley and Irwin will have their work cut out on their Supersport machines to challenge for the prestigious Sunflower silverware against Gearlink Kawasaki’s Ben Wilson and Tsingtao Kawasaki duo Danny Buchan and Gary Mason, although each will fancy their chances should the weather play a role.

The line-up also includes Lisburn’s Carl Phillips, who is a provisional entry on the MWR Kawasaki Superbike, while Jordanstown’s Andy Reid makes his 1000cc debut on Shaun Muir’s Milwaukee Yamaha ahead of his move to the Superstock 1000 class in 2015.

Jamie Hamilton is due to ride the Wilson Craig Honda, while Jamie Patterson is entered on the Bathams BMW along with 2013 Irish Superbike champion Nico Mawhinney on the Seadrift Offshore Racing Kawasaki.

Dean Harrison is entered for Mar-Train Racing, with Irwin’s team-mate Luke Hedger (Gearlink Kawasaki), British Supersport rider Sam Coventry and Irish championship regulars Nikki Coates and Christian Elkin also on the grid, but Marshall Neill misses out through injury.

The Sunflower Trophy race is being sponsored by loyal backer Jim Finlay for the 38th year.

Practice commences at 9am on Friday with three races for the Superbike and Supersport Cup, 125cc/250cc Production/Moto3 Newcomers and the Pre Injection/250GP classes taking place this afternoon.

on Saturday, warm-up gets underway at 9am followed by the main race programme. Admission is £20 for the weekend or £15 on Saturday only, including a souvenir programme.
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