Local riders, Jason O’Halloran, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Lee Jackson are getting revved up and ready to go for the season opener of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Donington Park this Easter weekend.
Both O’Halloran and Jackson are considered to be two of the many dark horses in this year’s championship, which has a record-busting grid of 39 riders this season.
Kiyonari, who lives in Market Rasen and is more commonly known as ‘Kiyo’, came so close in 2014 to clinching his fourth and historic championship title, but a broken collarbone in the final free practice session before qualifying hampered his chances and handed the title to the now most successful ever BSB rider, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.
Kiyo returns with his Buildbase BMW team this year, riding the BMW S1000RR machine, accompanied by Lee Jackson, who moves up into the premier class after finishing third in the National Superstock 1000 class in 2014, again riding for Buildbase BMW squad.
Jackson, aged just 19 years old, rode occasional rounds last year whilst covering the injured James Westmoreland, and instantly impressed after scoring points in all the races he finished, so is certainly one to keep your eye on this year.
Rasen’s O’Halloran, riding for the Louth based ‘Honda Racing’ team, has also moved into the Superbike class from the Superstock 1000s. Jason claimed second in the Stock 1000s last year, ahead of Jackson and behind the impeccably quick Danny ‘Boom’ Buchan.
O’Halloran was also the test rider for the Superbike for Honda last year, so knows the Fireblade better than anybody on the grid this year, and clearly knows how to ride fast.