Relentless Suzuki’s Alastair Seeley had a promising start to his debut into the MCE British Superbike Championship as well as becoming the first rider to take part in the new BSB Evolution class that will replace the current Cup category next season.
Seeley, who took the National Superstock title at the last round, has since been testing the Suzuki which has a road-spec engine in a Superbike chassis. The new championship also includes the use of spec-ECUs only eliminating the use of expensive electronics.
Seeley has constantly been running in the 1’27s which in first practice put him eighth and then 15th in the second. Talking about his experience so far, Seeley said: “The first thing I noticed when I jumped on the Superbike was the brakes, they are awesome. The suspension works a lot better, as you can brake much later because of the brakes so the suspension has to cope with that."
“It’s like being back in Superstock when I first started, I was floating around mid-pack, it was encouraging this morning though when I was seeing P3 and P4 on my board. Obviously the guys are just getting dialled in at the moment and trying different things as there is so much you can change on the Superbikes now.”
The GSX-R1000 Seeley is now using has a Brembo brake system and discs, Galfer brake pads, levers and master cylinders. The front forks and rear shocks are Showa which was also used on the Superstock bike, just a different specification.
The bike was independently dyno’d today to check it was in line with regulations and it was found that the Suzuki produced 173.44bhp at 12,800rpm at the rear wheel, where a standard GSX-R would produce 191bhp at the crank, which adds up as you lose around 10 per cent through final drive
Seeley said: “We are learning about all these new parts on the Superbike, what we can adjust and change. On the Superstock you were limited, but on a Superbike there is so much you can alter. We are also allowed to use slick tyres now, they have so much grip, they don’t start moving around till maybe until eight, nine or ten laps where on the Superstock you have three or four laps.”
Seeley's datalogging from today was analysed against that of his team mate Ian Lowry who has traction control. It is believed that if Seeley had traction control he would gain about another half a second which would have put him about seventh in the afternoon’s session.
Moving forward through the weekend, Seeley said: “Qualifying will be really important and we are making changes, it will be nothing like I am used to, going all out for three laps and in then out again. This is where I want to be in Superbikes, I am dipping my toes in, getting used to it and would be happy to ride in Superbikes next year.”