Alastair Seeley heads line-up for Sunflower Trophy

By Richard PetrieBBC Sport NI

Newly-crowned British Supersport champion Alastair Seeley heads the field for Saturday's Sunflower Trophy races at Bishopscourt.

Seeley will ride in the Superbike and Supersport events and will be joined in the Relentless TAS Suzuki colours by Ian Lowry for the Superbike races.

Parkalgar Honda will field Sam Lowes and Michael Dunlop in the Supersport events, where they face Ben Wilson.

Wilson finished a point behind Seeley in the British Supersport series.

Carrickfergus man Seeley will be chasing his first-ever Sunflower Trophy success, the most prestigious prize in the Irish short circuit racing calendar.

"I'm going to the Sunflower full of confidence and I hope to have a good end to the season," said Seeley.

Missing from this year's line-up will be six-times winner Michael Laverty, who finished fourth in the 2011 British Superbike championship.

This leaves Moira man Lowry as the only previous winner in the field.

Michael Dunlop will hope to make his mark in the feature Sunflower event on board the Street Sweep Kawasaki which he has ridden on the roads this season.

Michael's brother William will ride Wilson Craig Hondas and will be joined in the team by David Johnson for the Superbike events and Glenn Irwin for the Supersports.

Michael Dunlop
Michael Dunlop will hope to repeat the form he showed at the Ulster Grand Prix

Dubliner Jack Kennedy will make a one-off appearance for JMF Millsport Yamaha while Antrim's John Simpson and Josh Cunningham will join Wilson in the Gearlink Kawasaki team for what looks like being a keenly contested Supersport class.

British Superstock 600 champion Keith Farmer is another who should contend for the Supersport honours.

Leading the challenge from the regulars on the local short circuit scene will be newly crowned Mondello Masters and Irish Superstock champion Kirk Jamison.

Jamison will be hoping to secure the Irish Superbike title for the first time but will be pushed hard by nearest challenger Matthew Percy.

Veterans Jeremy McWilliams and Woolsey Coulter will compete in the Supertwins and 250cc classes respectively.

Meanwhile the sidecar entry will include former world champion Tim Reeves, with Greg Cluze in the chair.

He will face stiff competition from Ben and Tom Birchall, Scott Lawrie and James Neave and Dylan Lynch and John Clarke.

Practicing and qualifying is scheduled for 0900 BST on Friday, with the 13-race programme beginning at 1030 on Saturday.