Seeley plans to scupper Irwin

By Aaron O'Neill

Reporter:

By Aaron O'Neill

Email:

aaron.oneill@thechronicle.uk.com

North West 200 record wins holder Alastair Seeley has labelled Glenn Irwin’s aspirations of wanting to win six races at May’s meeting ‘trash talk.’

The ‘Wee Wizard’ has become the event’s dominant figure in recent seasons, surpassing the late Robert Dunlop’s long-standing record of 15 wins around the Triangle Circuit back in 2016.

The Carrickfergus rider has once again been labelled the man to beat at the North West 200 and insists he will not be going down without a fight when the 90th anniversary celebrations get underway in three months’ time.

Seeley spoke to Chronicle Sport at an event in Belfast where race organisers announced a fresh deal to broadcast the Coleraine and District Motor Club showpiece until 2025.

The 39-year-old admitted that registering six wins in a week would be a huge achievement.

“It is a big statement from Glenn to be honest - it is big talk,” said Seeley.

“It reminds me a little bit on Conor McGregor and it is trash talk to be honest. I have been out there and won it and you need a lot of things to line up on the day.

“This will be his first time racing six at the North West - he has never done that before,” he added.

“It is physically and mentally tiring but we will see on the day and obviously I will be out in a few races and I will be out to stop him as best I can.”

Glenn Irwin registered a double Superbike victory at the event last year on Paul Bird’s Ducati but has since switched to JGSpeedfit Kawasaki for 2019. Recently, Irwin admitted that he will be trying his hardest to win six races at the 90th anniversary of the North West 200 in May.

Seeley is set to contest the British Supersport Championship with EHA Racing this season as well as an appearance at the North West 200, which will be his only outing on the roads in 2019.

The North West 200 is the first international road race of the season but Seeley admits the event has similar ingredients to the British Championship.

“It is nearly like bringing the BSB to the north coast, but with the calibre of riders it makes it harder for me to win races,” said Seeley.

“The racing is really like the British Championship scratch type racing and that is how the event has evolved over the years.

“I suppose I am partly to do with that because I was bringing BSB to the North Coast when you had the traditional guys like Ryan Farqhuar and Adrian Archibald,” said the 39-year-old.

“Now you see more riders from the roads coming to BSB and you can see it helps them because they are involved with mass start short circuit racing.

“It helps them when they come to the north coast because they are not rusty and they are ready for a lot of bar banging and close racing come May,” he added.

Despite becoming one of the so called veterans of the sport, Seeley revealed that he has no plans to retire any time soon.

“I look at John McGuinness and Michael Rutter and I think they are mid-forties, so for me I feel there is a lot left to give,” said Seeley.

“If I can stay fit and healthy and with a good team who will supply me with stable machinery I suppose there is no reason why I can’t keep going. When the time comes where I’m not getting the machinery then it will be time to jack it in.”

Preparations for the event have gathered pace in recent weeks. It was announced recently that both fonaCab and Nicholl Oils will be the main title sponsors of the event this year.

This is expected to be followed in the coming weeks with news of individual race sponsors.

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