Last week, the 19-year-old confirmed the next step in his racing career, as he joined the Viñales Racing Team in WorldSSP300. Although he, like the three other graduates, champion Iker Garcia Abella, Greece’s Ioannis Peristeras and Brazil’s Humberto Maier, will be making his first full-season foray into the championship, the experience gained in the closely-fought Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup races is sure to play to his advantage.
Youngsters who want to follow in the footsteps of Seabright and the other Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup graduates and take their first step into world championship racing, can register their interest for the 2022 edition here.
“The Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup was a great foundation for building a possible future in the Superbike World Championship,” Seabright explained. “It was not only cost effective, but also allowed us to experience different tracks around Europe, which otherwise we would not have been able to race at. In the process, the high level of competition gave us a taste of the challenges of WorldSSP300 racing.
“One of the biggest plusses I will take from the Cup would be the amount of different riding styles and knowledge from all over the world. It was great to be able to share our experiences, which I would try to use to my advantage on the various tracks and situations through a race weekend.”
Although Seabright, who spent much of his childhood racing in both the UK and Spain, finished third in the championship, his performances did not go unnoticed. Having finished on the podium with third to open his 2021 account, the British rider stormed to pole position in his home round at Donington Park, and recovered from a first corner fall in Race 1 to score a sensational maiden victory in Race 2.
Despite sustaining an injury at the VR46 Master Camp, where he was selected following his strong start to the season alongside fellow Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup riders, Seabright pushed through the pain to win both Magny-Cours races just two weeks later. He signed off the season with another victory, taking his total tally to four – more than any other rider.
All of this was achieved despite sadly losing his mother at the start of the season: “It was a very difficult start of the year for me as a rider, after losing my mother. Mentally, it took me a while to understand that what my mother had said to me; that my natural talent would shine through once I would get my confidence back. It was mid-season when I knew I wasn’t just riding for myself, I was riding for my mother.”
It wasn’t just his on-track ability that Seabright was able to refine and improve throughout the season. Being a part of the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup, the youngster also benefitted from the Yamaha ambassadors’ advice, including 2021 WorldSBK champion Toprak Razgatlıoğlu, as well as further support from the manufacturer.
“Looking back, I’d like to thank everyone in the background that made it possible, all the staff within the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup and Yamaha Motor Europe. It was a difficult year, but they made it as easy as they could for me, not just as a rider, but as a person. If it weren’t for all of the mechanics, I don’t know where we would have been as my dad wouldn’t have had a clue!”