Features 31 Jan 2009

Moto Talk with Jason O'Halloran

Jason O’Halloran won the Aussie Supersport title in 2007, won Superbike races in his rookie season in 2008, and now looks for success in BSB.

Jason O'Halloran

Jason O'Halloran

Former Australian Supersport Champion Jason O’Halloran is a man on a mission. As a rookie in the Superbike class last season, O’Halloran impressed all year long to finish fourth in the title, capping his year off with a brilliant double victory at Eastern Creek’s final round.

Hailing from Wollongong, NSW, the O’Show is set to campaign the British Superbike Championship with SMT Honda this year after impressing in the final rounds of last year’s BSB series with the same squad.

“It’s been a long time coming — I’ve been itching to get overseas for a few years now, but I think staying in Australia for as long as I did will probably help me in the long run,” said the recently turned 21-year-old.

“I’m excited about going to BSB. It’s a really big championship and a step forward from where I’ve been,” he continued. “I think it’s definitely going to help me in the future to get to world Superbike.”

O’Halloran is one of the brightest young talents Australia has produced in the last decade, coming from the junior ranks before working his way up the ladder in Australia’s premier classes until he was one of the best.

Now he wants to do the same in BSB.

“Realistically I’d like to stay in British Superbike for two or three seasons,” he said. “I want to do one season with SMT and then try to move forward to a factory ride. If we can make that happen then it’s going to make it easier to challenge for the championship.”

When questioned on his expectations for the season, O’Halloran was realistic considering his equipment, although he’s hopeful of upsetting the established factory stars.

“It’s going to be tough with a privateer team, but for this year I’m going to aim for consistent top 10 finishes and to try push the factory guys as much as we can,” he said.

Comparing the series to the ASBK, O’Halloran finds it difficult to compare since he’s used to riding factory machinery in Australia.

“For sure it’s a lot stronger championship than what we have in Australia, but in saying that I was riding for a factory team here and a privateer team over there last year,” he explained.

“I think the top guys over there might be a little bit faster, but not that much faster. The difference is that the BSB has 12-15 guys who can run up front. To win here you need everything perfect, but to run in the top five isn’t that difficult. Whereas over there, you basically need to ride at the level you need to win here just to finish in the top 10.”

Despite the BSB series being acknowledged as one of the most difficult in the world, O’Halloran hopes to find a way to the top in order to earn himself a spot on a factory team for 2010.

“We’re getting ’09 Fireblades for this year and I think for sure we can be a front-running team,” he predicts. “We’re just going to have to keep pushing those factory guys as much as we can and hopefully I’ll get one of their seats for next year.”

Judging by his late-season performances last year, you’d be a brave man to bet against the O’Show living up to expectations.