Highs and Lows for Gearlink Kawasaki
Oulton Park - Round 3
It was another packed weekend for the Gearlink Kawasaki team in the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship at the scenic Oulton Park circuit for round three of the series. Alastair Seeley had a stunning weekend for the Gearlink Kawasaki team and secured a great second place in race one and went one better in race two gaining another great win for the Gearlink team. His team-mate Ben Wilson had a very different weekend and was unable to start race one and finished seventh in race two despite starting from the back of the grid.
The Irishman Seeley has now left the third round of the Championship leading the Supersport series by two points from Stuart Easton. Seeley was on a mission this weekend and he and Easton were in another league. The rider from Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland qualified for the opening race on Sunday in second place, fighting with Easton throughout the race the two fought until the end with Stuart winning by 0.1 from Alastair. Alastair was eager to go one better in the second race and securing the fastest lap in race one sat him in pole position. Once again he and Easton took off from the start and the two soon bridged a huge gap between themselves and third placed man Billy McConnell. Once again in the closing laps Easton and Seeley swapped paint on several occasions before Alastair made his move into the last corner, Lodge, on the last lap and out dragged the Yamaha rider to the line winning the race by 0.06.
Alastair Seeley - "It has been a great weekend and a really good feeling to leave here leading the Championship. I learnt in the race yesterday where I could and could not make a move and today I tried a few different places but I was not able to bridge a gap so I knew I had to make a move on the last lap. I had to get the drive coming out of Druids and keep the front wheel down which is where I made the mistake yesterday. I was able to pull it off today and I went in pretty hot into Lodge on the brakes and was able to make the move. Stuart and I had two really good races and I'm just pleased that I was able to secure some really good Championship points this weekend and hope this will continue for the rest of the season. I would like to thank my mechanic Arron and all the Gearlink Kawasaki team for all their work this weekend."
It was a totally different situation for Ben Wilson this weekend on the second Gearlink Kawasaki Supersport machine. Unfortunately he crashed during the qualifying session which in turn ground through some of the major electrical wires forcing the mechanics a long job to try and fix the wiring loom before the opening race on Saturday, unfortunately they were unable to get the bike out for the first race which forced Ben to start the second race from last on the grid in 27th place. He got a fantastic start and was up to 11th by lap two, despite working hard and making some more places he was unable to catch the front pack and had to settle for seventh at the end of the 16-lap race.
Ben Wilson - "I am so disappointed this weekend with what happened. Oulton is one of my favourite tracks and I was really hoping to leave here with a couple of good results under my belt but it just was not the case. I had an off in qualifying and it left the Gearlink Kawasaki boys a lot of work to do to my bike and it just didn't happen. I'm totally gutted and had to start the second race from the back, luckily Oulton is one of the tracks you can make passes at. I got a great start and I was making some good passes but despite some good lap times the front runners had already made a break and were setting similar times to myself so I had to settle for seventh. I just hope I can get things back on track at Knockhill next month and try and get my season going again. I am still lying in fourth in the Championship standings and it's a long season."
Pirelli National Superstock 600s
In the Pirelli National Superstock 600 class it was another great success for the team and another podium headed in the way of the Gearlink Kawasaki team with Luke Hedger. The current British Motostar Champion gained a fantastic second place and a very hard fought race. The youngster from Bristol rode an extremely mature race and after qualifying in tenth place he got his head down in the 14-lap race and worked his way through the tough pack making some very confident passes and took the podium place. Nicole Mc Aleer improved throughout the weekend but despite this she was unable to qualify for the race ending the weekend in 45th place.
Luke Hedger - "I'm over the moon with my result today and I'd like to thank the Gearlink Kawasaki team for all their hard work and I am so glad I can repay them with a podium this early in the season. The race was really hard and certainly challenging; I managed to get a good start and made some passes in the opening lap. I felt really comfortable on the bike and was able to push pretty hard into all the passing places and I was soon up at the sharp end and battling for the podium. I was having a really good dice with James Lodge and Joe Collier and was able to secure what I thought was third in the race until I entered Parc Ferme and they informed me Joe (Collier) had received a five second penalty which put me up to second. It's a mega feeling and so pleased I was able to do this I cannot wait to get back on the Gearlink bike at all the other races now."
Nicole Mc Aleer - "It has been another frustrating weekend and we have been struggling with set up on the bike and for me to get a good feeling with it. I've been out of racing for around a year and a half now and it's certainly tough to get adjusted back into it all and be as competitive as I would like to be. We made a lot of changes this weekend and despite taking about three seconds off I still wasn't able to get myself on the grid and qualified. I hope we can change things for Donington and move things forward through the season."
Team Manager Michael de Bidaph - "It was such a contrasting weekend of highs and lows this weekend. Obviously Alastair did an amazing job for the team, he was on the pace all weekend and with it being so close in the sprint race we really wanted to go better in the main race. Stuart was beginning to get a good lead in the Championship and we really wanted to ensure we kept the points close. They were two fantastic races and we're very pleased with the outcome for Alastair and hope it will continue through the season.
On the other hand with Ben it was a nightmare weekend for him here, he is normally very strong at Oulton, we made a change on the suspension for qualifying for Ben and he went out and crashed at Cascades and then we were on the back foot. He damaged some electrical wires on the bike which we desperately tried to fix before the sprint race but it just was not to be. He did all he could today in the main race and he rode brilliantly to get to seventh from the back of the grid but he was not 100% happy with the bike.
Luke rode a fantastic race today we are really pleased with the progress he has made so far this season and to be on the podium in only his third 600 race is brilliant. I was happy with him qualifying in tenth place on the grid but he rode a very clever and intelligent race making some strong passes and putting in some very good lap times. He was rewarded for all his hard work with a well-deserved podium and I am very sure there are more to come in future races.
Nicole is struggling a little to find a comfortable set up on her bike which suits her riding style and its taking a little while for her to settle in. We will continue to make changes until she feels happy with how things are. The bike is very different to anything she has ridden before but we will continue to moving forwards and get her out on the grid for the races."