By Kyle White Belfast Newsletter Saturday, 2nd April 2022, 6:28 pm
Carrick’s Alastair Seeley swept the board with a fabulous four-timer at Bishopscourt in Co Down on Saturday to begin the 2022 Ulster Superbike Championship in style.
Last year, Seeley clinched the Superbike and Supersport titles as he completed a full season at home in the domestic series on the IFS Yamaha machines.
The 42-year-old showed his class as a former double British champion, with Seeley taking pole in both classes and winning all four races at the Temple Club’s meeting to throw down the gauntlet to his rivals.
He opened his account in the first Superbike race, taking victory by over eight seconds from Jason Lynn (J McC Roofing Kawasaki), who inherited second place when the returning Carl Phillips was forced out with a machine issue on the SBR Suzuki.
Cork’s Mike Browne finished third on the Burrows Engineering/RK Racing Suzuki ahead of Ryan Gibson (Kawasaki).
Lisburn man Phillips was making his racing return after a few years away from the sport. He won the Ulster Superbike title in 2019 with 11 victories and will be encouraged by his performance despite feeling somewhat ring rusty.
After ironing out the problem with his Suzuki, Phillips finished as the runner-up in the second Superbike race behind Seeley, who took the win by almost two seconds on the IFS Yamaha R1, with Lynn five seconds further adrift in third.
In the Supersport class, Seeley was a runaway winner in both races on the Yamaha R6. He led from start to finish in the opener and took the chequered flag with more than 26 seconds in hand over Christian Elkin (Yamaha), with the podium completed by Jamie Lyons.
Seeley also disappeared in the second race as he wrapped up a perfect four-timer, crossing the line almost 16 seconds ahead of Elkin, with Lyons again in third spot.
Ex-Grand Prix rider Jeremy McWilliams was a double winner in the Supertwin races.
McWilliams, fresh from winning a ‘King of the Baggers’ race at the Daytona 200 in the USA, saw off British Junior Supersport champion Cameron Dawson (J McC Roofing Kawasaki) by just over a tenth of a second in the opener, with Ryan Gibson (Aprilia) third.
In race two, McWilliams – who could be set to return to the North West 200 in May – sealed his double on the IFS/fonaCAB Paton, beating Gibson by 1.8s, with third going to Michael Gillan.
In the Moto3 class, Ross Moore clinched a double, with Alexander Rowan and Jack Burrows second and third respectively in each race.
Kris Moore and Jack Oliver took a victory apiece in the Lightweight Supersport races.
The second round of the Ulster Superbike Championship will be the Easter Saturday meeting at Bishopscourt on April 16.
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