Alastair Seeley's successful form from the North West 200 continued at Thruxton as he took second place in Sunday's opening British Supersport race.
The Relentless Suzuki rider was victorious in the Supersport class at the prestigious road racing event at Coleraine and was embroiled in a five-man battle for victory on Sunday.
After starting from the second row, Seeley was involved in a race-long tussle with polesitter Billy McConnell, Ben Wilson, Sam Warren and Dean Hipwell. In the end, McConnell prevailed after sneaking past Seeley on the penultimate lap but the Carrickfergus man was still able to hold off championship leader Wilson for second.
Seeley later pinpointed his start as the deciding factor as it had forced him to battle his way to the front of the pack.
“I didn’t get as good a start as I normally do, but I got up to third place and chased down Wilson and Kennedy before Jack eventually tucked the front. I could hear a Triumph on my bumper the whole race but wasn’t sure who it was. So with four laps to go I tried to make a break for it but they were able to slipstream me back.”
In an incredibly close finish, the top five were covered by just 0.698s and Seeley admitted it was a cracking spectacle for the supporters.
“In the last two laps I sat back and waited until the final chicane and got past the two front men, but McConnell braked that bit later than me and nipped in for the win. It was really tight but a good race and just what British Supersport racing is all about. Thruxton is hard on tyres so in the longer race tomorrow it will all be about preserving them. And if the forecast is correct, the rain may even come into play.”
Team Manager Phillip Neill added that his rider is at the top of his game at the moment and is hopeful he can continue to close the gap to Wilson.
“It’s just a pity that opening Supersport race was not live on TV as it was a thrilling race to watch. Alastair really is on a high at the minute and he had a good plan out there today, but Billy made the best of a four-rider slipstream to take the win; that’s racing. Just like he was at the NW200, Alastair was brilliant on the brakes on the wee GSX-R600 today, but it was a good race for the Championship with more solid points and he now moves into second place in the overall table.”
The 20 points gained have moved Seeley into second place in the championship but he remains 45 points behind Wilson going into tomorrow's feature race.