GUTTED Ben Wilson missed out on the Fuchs Silkolene British Supersport championship by just one point after an epic weekend at Brands Hatch.
Despite taking a win, a second and a fourth place in the final three races of the season at the weekend, it was not enough to secure the title for the Kirton-based Gearlink Kawasaki ace, as Alastair Seeley took the crown.
But although Seeley won the trophy, Wilson was heralded by the fans as the people’s champion and provided them all with a fantastic display of racing throughout the season.
Going into the final round Wilson trailed Seeley by 14 points and knew he had to win all three races in order to be sure of the championship.
The first race was the postponed event from Oulton Park, where Ben had qualified on pole. As they got under way on Saturday afternoon it was Wilson who got the hole shot into Paddock Hill, but Seeley was in close company and took the lead at Druids on lap two.
Seeley pulled away to establish a small gap at the front, but Wilson was handed a lifeline when Seeley misjudge a corner and crashed on lap four of ten.
That left the 29-year-old some six seconds clear in the lead and he went on to take a comfortable victory and 25 championship points.
That put the championship lead back in the hands of the Lincolnshire rider, who took an 11 point advantage into the final two races.
But the track was damp on Sunday for the start of race two and Ben made a cautious start in the slippery conditions, meaning he was swallowed up in the pack as they rounded the first corner.
He soon recovered and made his way through from eighth to fourth, where he stayed to the chequered flag.
Going into the final race Wilson held a slender four point advantage over Seeley, which meant he had to win the race to be sure of winning the championship.
He set off from the head of the second row and was up to second at turn one, before taking the lead at Druids a few seconds later.
That’s were he stayed until lap four of 12, when he was overtaken by Seeley who went on to take both the race win and the title with Wilson denied the title by just one championship point.
“To say I am disappointed is an understatement,” said Wilson.
“I am devastated as I had my heart set on winning the title this year. I managed to get the lead in the last race but made a couple of mistakes and that allowed Seeley to get ahead.
“Once he got the gap on me it was all over. To be fair the gap didn’t increase, but fair play to him, he rode a good race and in the end took the title from under my nose.
“I want to say a big thank you to everyone at Gearlink Kawasaki, all my sponsors, supporters and also my family who have been behind me all season. I am just sorry we couldn’t have brought the title back for them.”
MSV’s Dr Jonathan Palmer, who runs the series, was among those to console Wilson after the race.
• Final standings: 1st A Seeley (Relentless TAS Suzuki) 450pts; 2nd B Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) 449pts; 3rd B McConnell (Oxford Tag Triumph) 254pts.