British Superbikes: O’Halloran toils in Oulton Park rain

Jason O'Halloran is sixth in the standings with two rounds left EMN-170918-165835002

Market Rasen-based rider Jason O’Halloran recorded 10th and eighth-place finishes at round 10 of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park.

The results left him in sixth place in the end-of-season Showdown for the title with 517 points ahead of the penultimate round at Assen, in the Netherlands, on October 1.

The weather disrupted free practice and qualifying, but the Honda Racing rider qualified in 12th position to start the first race from a fourth row grid position.

With rain falling and a wet race declared O’Halloran started badly and was 14th on lap three.

But he soon settled into his race and passed Sylvain Guintoli for 13th, and continued to make progress.

He had moved up to 11th by lap 10 when the race was red-flagged after his team-mate and race leader Dan Linfoot pulled off with a blown engine. Because the track was contaminated and it was past two-thirds distance the result was called at positions on lap 14 with O’Halloran awarded 10th spot.

The weather was dry for the start of the second encounter, and O’Halloran maintained 12th place through the first two laps before making a move forward.

When John Hopkins crashed he was elevated to 10th, and on lap 10 he overtook James Ellison for ninth. He then passed a fading Christian Iddon three laps later and continued in eighth place to the chequered flag.

“It has not been the most ideal weekend for us,” O’Halloran said. “I finished race one in 10th; it was wet and I struggled a lot with feeling and couldn’t find the grip I wanted or needed with the Fireblade.

“We started to get stronger towards the end of the race, but it wasn’t enough at that point.

“In race two we started back on the fourth row and I got caught out with the damp track and the one line in some areas.

“It was tough to get past some of the guys and I lost about four seconds on the second and third laps.

“We finished about four-and-a-half seconds away from Linfoot who was leading.

“Our pace was good and strong throughout the race, but losing that bunch of time at the start just put us on the back foot a little.

“I’m now looking forward to getting to Assen and making our way up the pack and hopefully scoring a few podiums.”

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