Tyco TAS Suzuki's Alastair Seeley admitted his disappointment at throwing away what looked like certain victory in the opening round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at a wet Brands Hatch.
Seeley charged through the field from 13th position on the grid and eventually caught and passed MSS Bathams Kawasaki's Michael Rutter and Samsung Honda's Jon Kirkham to seize the lead as the race reached a conclusion.
However, a rear-end slide under acceleration almost pitched Seeley off the GSX-R1000 at Clearways on the final lap, allowing Kirkham to pounce and grab a last-gasp victory.
Seeley, who claimed his maiden BSB success in the wet at Brands Hatch in 2010, said: “
We made some good changes to the bike overnight and it felt good in warm-up and we went quickest.
“I worked my way through to third place before the pace car came; then I got past Rutter and Kirkham and started to pull a bit of a gap.
“The conditions were tough and my visor steamed up a bit which made it difficult to see, so at the end I rode a defensive line, but the rear stepped out on me at the final corner and Kirkham got better drive to the line,” added last year's British Supersport champion.
“I'm disappointed not to have taken the win but in the conditions we've taken a good haul of points.”
Seeley's team-mate in the Ulster-based Suzuki GB-backed outfit, Josh Brookes, finished in 10th place and was lucky to take any points at all after saving a huge slide at Graham Hill Bend.
Brookes, who placed his Tyco Suzuki on pole position for the opening race, said: “I did what I could in the conditions. I nearly fell off and made an amazing save to stay on the bike. I came back on the track and made up one or two places before the end.
“It's less than satisfying after taking pole position, but I'm also grateful not to have fallen off and I didn't get hurt and we don't have a crashed bike to fix. I did get a few points which is better than none,” he said.
“It was the right decision not to run the second race and the riders need to stick together on these things. I wasn't going to go out as the track wasn't safe to race on so yeah… it really was the right decision to postpone it.”