British Superbikes: O’Halloran back in business at Brands Hatch

OHalloran was optimistic after improved fortunes at Brands Hatch EMN-170418-093737002
OHalloran was optimistic after improved fortunes at Brands Hatch EMN-170418-093737002

Market Rasen rider Jason O’Halloran improved to two top seven finishes in round two of the MCE British Superbike Championship on Monday.

The results at Brands Hatch moved the Australian up the championship table to seventh on 32 points.

Still developing the new Honda Fireblade, O’Halloran gave the bike a couple of test sessions at Cadwell and Mallory since the first round at Donington and it made a difference at the Kent circuit.

After qualifying in sixth on Sunday, he began the first of two races from the second row, and completed the first four laps in sixth before passing John Hopkins to lead the second wave of riders.

On lap 10 current champion Shane Byrne moved ahead, but O’Halloran stayed in touch in sixth place until the final lap when Glenn Irwin overtook him on the run to the chequered flag to finish in seventh.

His lap times were not quite fast enough to maintain a second-row start for race two and he was placed on row three.

But after a fantastic start O’Halloran settled into a close fourth place behind Christian Iddon.

Once again Byrne demoted him a place to fifth before Irwin also went past in the chase at the front.

But in a twist of fate, Irwin crashed on the next lap and one lap later Byrne followed him into the gravel trap, promoting O’Halloran back up to fourth.

He was being quickly reeled in by Josh Brooks who moved alongside on the very last lap and just got his wheel in front to snatch fourth place from the Rasen rider.

“We have scored a good bunch of points today and made a really big improvement compared to Donington Park,” O’Halloran said.

“I was not too far from the leading group in race two and I tried to hang in there as long as I could, although I lacked a bit of grip at the front end.

“I was a couple of seconds away from the podium which is a massive improvement for us.

“We have some work to do in order to find some more grip with cooler conditions, but I’m sure that with temperatures increasing throughout the course of the season, we will be able to get even closer to the front.”

The Honda Racing rider will be anticipating another good set of results from Oulton Park in the next round on May 1.

Before then he will take part in the official BSB test at the Cheshire circuit on Thursday to seek out a good set-up for that race.