O’Halloran claims a Brands podium spot

Jason O'Halloran. Photo: Dave Yeomans.
Jason O'Halloran. Photo: Dave Yeomans.

Honda Racing rider Jason O’Halloran recorded his first podium finish of the new campaign when he rode to third place in the first of the two 30-lap races in the 2018 British Superbike championship at Brands Hatch on Sunday.

After riding well during free practice O’Halloran, from Market Rasen, was unlucky to crash in the second stage of qualifying, leaving the team to make hurried repairs ahead of the third session.

He ended up in eighth place for a third row start to the first race and said: “It is so tight around this short Indy circuit and I was pushing hard as I needed a good grid position for the race.

“I slid off at Druids which wasn’t what I wanted and now have to get a really good start to the race to make any impact on it.”

But he needn’t have worried as he did make a good start and was soon in a battle for third place with Leon Haslam.

He finally made a pass stick on lap 14 of 30 and managed to hold off Haslam who was right on his tail for the remainder of the race.

The Australian rider crossed the finish line for third place with an advantage of 0.4s over his rival.

He said: “I knew starting from row three was going to be really tough and I had to fight my way through being really aggressive.

“I was on the same pace as the boys at the front but they were just that bit too far away to catch.

“I hope my times have given me a better grid position for the second race as if so I will be aiming to be up there again.”

But things didn’t quite go to plan in race two as, when running in a strong fifth place, the rain began to fall and the race was red flagged on lap six.

At the restart it was a gamble on tyre choice as it was only drizzling.

Some went for full wets and others for intermediates.

However, O’Halloran was one of the latter and when the rain persisted he dropped down the order to dead last.

At the half way stage of the race he suffered the indignity of being lapped and decided it was time to pull into the pits and retire.

O’Halloran now has 32 points and is seventh in the rider standings going into the next round at Oulton Park on May 5-7.