British Superbikes: Solid start for Market Rasen riders

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Market Rasen-based rider Jason O’Halloran had a superb opening round of the British Superbikes with two top six finishes at Silverstone on Sunday.

The Australian motorcycle racer was making his return to the race track after spending the winter recovering from last season’s crash when he suffered a badly broken leg and rode well to finish sixth in race one and fourth in the second encounter.

O’Halloran qualified in second place to start the first race from the middle of the front row for the Louth-based Honda Racing team and was third at the end of the first lap.

He was beaten back a place to fourth when Shakey Byrne went past and held that position for much of the race. But the pace was hot and he finished in sixth position, just a fraction of a second behind team-mate Dan Linfoot.

The ??-year-old started the second race in fourth place and spent most of the 14 laps swapping places with Christian Iddon and Leon Haslam before eventually making his move stick to take the chequered flag in fourth place.

The results give him a total of 23 points and fifth place in the rider standings.

Fellow Rasen rider Ryuichi Kiyonari, meanwhile, recorded 11th and 12th-place finishes.

Kiyo moved to the Bennetts Suzuki team this season and started the first 14-lap race from a fourth row grid position after qualifying in 10th place in tricky conditions on Saturday.

As the race got under way, the Japanese rider completed the first lap in 13th place before being beaten back to 15th on lap two.

But as the race progressed so did the Japanese rider and he crossed the finish line in 11th.

The second race went much the same way with Kiyo dropping down as far as 16th in mid-race, but he made a concerted effort to move back into the points and finished the race in 12th place.

Going into the second round, Kiyo is placed at 11th in the rider standings with nine championship points.

He said: “Today we struggled with some chatter, which meant I couldn’t push as hard as I would have liked.

“In race one our times were still quite good and I could have had a seventh before I made a slight mistake.

“For race two we made some suspension changes to see if we could cure the chatter, but it didn’t work as we would have liked.

“It’s not a great weekend for the results, but I’m still positive and can feel the potential.”

The next round is at Oulton Park over the May Day bank holiday weekend of April 30 to May 2.