British Superbikes: O’Halloran lands first podium of season

Jason O�Halloran claims his first trophy for his new team EMN-190923-161611002
Jason O�Halloran claims his first trophy for his new team EMN-190923-161611002

Jason O’Halloran secured his first podium finish of the season when he travelled to the Netherlands for round 10 of the British Superbike Championship.

The Market Rasen-based rider took third place in race one at Assen for McAMS Yamaha and then rode to a seventh-place finish in race two on Sunday.

He went well in free practice and said: “Today has been really good. It’s my first time here on the Yamaha so we found our feet this morning as the bike is quite a bit different to the bike I’ve ridden here previously.

“Once you let that feeling become natural it comes, and this afternoon I was fast from my first exit and went from there.

“We’ve still got some things to work on for tomorrow, and then see what we’ve got for qualifying.”

Qualifying did go well for the Australian rider as he finished in fourth place to start the first race from the head of row two.

“That was a pretty good qualifying for us,” he added.

“We were making changes all the way through, but in general I feel really good and comfortable, and I think we will have strong pace tomorrow.

“The biggest thing for me is I feel I’m making a big step with my physical condition, and that’s going to improve as the weeks go on.”

As the first 18-lap race got under way, O’Halloran got off the line well, but was squeezed out at the first corner.

Settling into sixth place in the early stages of the race, he picked off his rivals following a safety car intervention.

He then found himself in fourth, 1.6 seconds off the podium battle, but lap-by-lap he reeled them in, to find himself in the fight for second position in the final stages.

Moving into third, it looked as though the Aussie could clinch the runner-up spot, but narrowly missed out on the final lap.

Nevertheless, his third place finish marks his first podium with the McAMS Yamaha team after what has proved to be a tough 2019 season.

Race two was to prove more challenging.

Despite retaining the same settings from the first race, O’Halloran struggled with a lack of rear grip from the early stages.

After a strong start he dropped back to seventh where he remained to the chequered flag.

“It’s been a really good day,” he said. “I’m really happy to have been up on the podium in race one.

“Everything worked for us in that race. I felt really comfortable and did my own thing, and got our first trophy for the McAMS Yamaha team which I’m really pleased with as the guys have worked so hard this year.

“The second race was a little more difficult. I don’t know if we had an issue with the tyre or something as I struggled for grip from the early stages. “Nonetheless it’s been a good day, so we’ll go to Donington and see what we can do.”

The penultimate round of the season is at Donington Park from October 4 to 6.