by Kyle White
British Supersport champion Alastair Seeley's primary objective is to secure a move to the British Superbike series in 2012.
Seeley, who will join World Superbike ace Leon Camier in a Crescent Suzuki test at Portimao in Portugal next week as a stand-in for recuperating American John Hopkins, has yet to confirm his plans for the new season.
The possibility remains that he could partner Aussie Josh Brookes in TAS Racing's newly named Tyco Suzuki outfit in BSB next year, but Seeley told Crash.net
he is talking to a number of teams about his plans and has 'options' on the table.
“I achieved what I set out to do in the Supersport championship and I've won the National Superstock title as well, so I'm only interested in riding in British Superbikes next year,” he said. “There is no point in going back to Supersport again, it's only a step backwards.
“I want to move into the Superbike class and have the chance to try and become the first rider to win all three British championships - Superstock, Supersport and Superbike.
“I've got the chance to test with the Crescent Suzuki team next week at Portimao and my involvement with Suzuki maybe helped me there, but my name was in Jack Valentine's mind when he needed a rider to replace John Hopkins and it's a chance to get some time on a Superbike.
“I've never ridden at Portimao before so to have the experience of track time there is something that might come in handy in the future.”
Earlier this week, TAS Racing confirmed that Brookes had been retained for 2012 and team principal Neill said he was in the process of securing a second rider to spearhead his bid to land the coveted BSB crown.
Seeley has been holding talks with the Moneymore team over the possibility of filling the vacancy, but the 31-year-old has also been in discussions with other teams, one of which is understood to be Shaun Muir's Swan Yamaha squad.
“I've been talking to Philip but I've been talking to other teams as well,” he said. “I'm not prepared to say anything else at the minute, but I've got options on the table and I'm confident I will be in BSB next year.”
Seeley has carved out a reputation as the man to beat at the North West 200 in recent years - the only road race he competes in - and he underlined his commitment to the event next May.
“The North West is important in my plans and whatever team I ride for will have to provide me with bikes to go there and race,” he said.
Seeley's fellow countryman Michael Laverty plus Jon Kirkham have been unveiled as HM Plant Honda's new BSB signings for 2012.