May 18, 2011
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Alastair Seeley (34) in action at the North West 200.
Reigning North West 200 Superbike champion Alastair Seeley dominated last night's opening practice sessions for this year's Relentless International North West 200.
In overcast and blustery conditions, Seeley topped the Superbike leaderboard with a lap time of 4min 31.148sec [119.094mph] and a 'trap' top-speed of 190mph on his Suzuki GSX-R1000. The Carrickfergus man also headed the Superstock class with a lap time of 4mins 32.690sec [118.420mph] and brought his Supersport Suzuki GSX-R600 home in second place [4mins 42.638sec/ 114.252mph], just 1/10th-of-a-second off top spot.
"I kept my powder dry as I was towing Cameron Donald round in the Supersport session, but I'm happy to be at the top of the timesheets at this stage in the Superbike and Superstock classes. Everything is working really well and the bikes are very stable, which is so important round here. Thursday is a longer session and we've a few more things to try with the bike and also with Pirelli, but so far I'm very happy."
Team mate Guy Martin made his full road racing debut last night for Relentless Suzuki by TAS Racing finishing sixth in both the opening Superbike [4mins 40.269sec/ 115.214mph] and Supersport qualifying sessions [4mins 52.824mph/ 110.278mph]. The Lincolnshire man took ninth place in the Superstock class, which closed the opening night's session, registering a time of 4mins 39.036sec/ 115.727mph and he is also looking forward to tomorrow's daytime session.
"The Superbike is mega; we're right there with that one and the Supersport bike is yeah... that's spot on too. Little problem last night but nothing to worry about. On the Superstock bike we've a little bit of work to do and struggled a little last night with gearing but all-day practice tomorrow and we should be good. I'm looking forward to a good run in the dry and we'll be right there hopefully for Saturday."
Philip Neill - Team Manager:
"It's been a good start for us. This is obviously a tough week in general as many different aspects can determine how you qualify. We are in quite a unique scenario with two riders on three different bikes and bike set-up can be turned on its head in five minutes with a change in the weather. Our dry set-up is very good after the opening session and apart from a few teething troubles we are ready for Saturday, although as I say, a drop of rain could offer up a whole new challenge for everyone."