Third position in opening affair a strong result for Australian ace.
Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran took his first Bennetts British Superbike Championship podium of the year in race one at Brands Hatch Indy over the weekend, in what ended up being a mixed round for the Australia talent.
O’Halloran starred on his way to third-place in race one, working his way into position by mid-race distance, holding onto the spot and crossing the line to celebrate his first podium of 2018.
Starting the second race from the second row of the grid the Aussie was run wide into the first corner, but having made some decisive passes, it wasn’t long until he was running fifth. The race was red-flagged on lap seven with rain starting to fall and a gamble by O’Halloran and the team saw the restart with an intermediate rear tyre. With heavier rain falling and O’Halloran struggling with grip, his race ultimately ended early.
“Race one was fantastic, we came from the third row and it’s always really tough to pass here,” O’Halloran said. “I made some good passes with the Fireblade and moved forward the whole race to finish on the podium. Not only did we catch [Leon] Haslam, but passed him and held him off. He’s one of the strongest guys in the championship, so to pass him we’re making progress. I felt that I had the same pace as the leaders, but starting on the third row hurt us, especially with the battles I had coming through to get to the podium.
“I’m really pleased with the CBR, we made some adjustments over the weekend which had a really positive effect and I am feeling much more comfortable and happy with the progress we’re making. Race two started well for us in the dry conditions, it was spitting with rain, but it wasn’t too bad I didn’t think. I got a bad start and was run wide at turn one, around here the lap-time is so close and when you feel that you’ve got more than the people around you, it’s a nice feeling.
“The race was red-flagged and we went with a wrong tyre choice in the second part, choosing a rear intermediate tyre. When I rolled out of pit lane I thought ‘great we’re on!’. The track wasn’t too wet, it was damp and I felt like we’d made the right choice, but it just kept raining and the heavier the rain got the worse it got, I had no traction and was spinning hard, I stayed out for as long as I could, but in the end it was safer to pit.”
O’Halloran is now positioned seventh in the championship standings as top of the Australian contingent in the premier Superbike category, with a test scheduled later this month ahead of Oulton Park’s next round on 5-7 May.