Jason O’Halloran narrowly missed out on his target of a podium at his local circuit of Cadwell Park on Sunday with fifth and fourth-place finishes in round eight of the British Superbike Championship.
The Australian, who has made his home in Market Rasen, was hoping for a couple of podiums, but it wasn’t his day.
He had run within the top 10 throughout free practice and qualifying, but missed out on a front row start and had to settle for a row two grid position for the first 18-lap affair.
He started well and by lap two was up into third place and pushing for second. But Shakey Byrne caught and passed him on lap nine and he was pushed back to fourth.
With three laps left, Louth rider Peter Hickman relegated him to fifth where he crossed the finish line.
Starting race two from the third row, O’Halloran started badly and was running ninth for the first seven laps.
But he finally got past Christian Iddon and when Jake Dixon crashed out, he was promoted to seventh.
The leaders were long gone and there was no hope of catching them, but O’Halloran had a clear track ahead and caught and passed Tom Bridewell on lap 14.
Leon Haslam crashed, and when Shakey Byrne retired, O’Halloran found himself up into fourth, but with four laps left and the gap to third at more than five seconds, it was impossible to make any further progress.
He said: “We finished fifth then fourth so points-wise it’s not the worse day we have had. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed; I love racing here and felt like we had a decent pace.
“In race two I think our starting position really held us up and I got caught up behind some slower riders.
“I tried everything I could, but I just couldn’t get by quickly enough. Once I had made the pass my lap times increased, but by then the front pack had already gone.
“I am disappointed not to be on the podium at the team’s home race. I am giving it everything at the moment, but it doesn’t seem enough.
“We have to keep going, keep pushing and improving and give it a good go at Silverstone.”
O’Halloran is back up into fourth in the championship on 178 points, but he is still not guaranteed a place in the top six and the title Showdown, with three races and 75 points available at the final round at Silverstone.