Jason O’Halloran reaped the rewards of a tough but challenging season by taking his first podium with the McAMS Yamaha team in a scintillating first race fightback at TT Circuit Assen.
Starting from fourth on the grid, O’Halloran got off the line well but was squeezed out at the first corner. Settling into sixth in the early stages of the race, he picked off his rivals following a safety car intervention.
He then found himself fourth, 1.6 seconds off the podium battle but lap by lap he reeled them in, to find himself in the fight for second 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.
Starting 15th on the grid after what has been a tough weekend as he struggled to find a feeling from the bike, Mackenzie was hopeful after finding somewhat of a direction in warm-up. After a steady start he found himself comfortably in the top ten and progressing, demonstrating strong pace towards the end of the race. Finishing seventh with the eighth quickest lap, he’d secure a third row start for race two.
Race two would 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’d drop back to seventh where he’d cross the line. Starting eighth, Mackenzie also got off the line well but was forced to roll the throttle after being cut across by another rider into turn one, this left him in a cat-fight in the mid-field and, getting a bit beaten up, he’d cross the line 13th to bring a close to a start to the Showdown he’d rather forget.
Mackenzie now sits fifth in the championship standings while O’Halloran jumps up one position to ninth.
Rookie Matt Truelove finished the races in 18th place.
The team will now travel back to the UK before re-grouping for the 11th round of the championship as we return to Donington Park on the full Grand Prix layout between 4-6 October.
Race 1: 3rd Race 2: 7th Championship: 9th
“It’s been a really good day. 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.”
Race 1: 7th Race 2: 13th Championship: 5th
“Race one was really positive, I got a good start and got in a good rhythm. It was our first time riding with that particular setting so it took me a few laps to get into it but when I did I felt really strong towards the end of the race. In race two, a rider came across me at the start and I had to roll to avoid hitting him and I got mugged into turn one and that was basically my race over. I was making good headway but then ended up in battles with a few others and that lost the gap to the front. I felt like I could have done a much better race so I’m going away disappointed, it was probably one of the worst weekends I’ve had this year. We didn’t have a good feeling all weekend but it came good today, the bike felt great but I didn’t perform. I’ll go away, do my homework and try and come back at Donington stronger.”
Race 1: 18th Race 2: 18th
“It’s not been an awful weekend, two 18th places are good as the aim was to be in the top 20 but a few people did crash out! I felt like we could have made a bit more progress on race day. I’ll now turn my attention to Donington, we did a bit of an endurance race there a few weeks ago and it went really well so I can’t wait to get back there and going again!”
“First of all, I am absolutely delighted to see Jason finally step on that podium. It’s been coming for him since round one, when he should have been on the rostrum! It’s taken a bit longer than we hoped and it’s been a tough year, but we never lost faith in him and he never lost faith in us and that’s the most important thing. Let’s not forget, he’s still riding with a pretty badly bust shoulder! It’s been a tough weekend for Taz, we had an issue which pretty much wrote off Friday for us and from there you are playing catch up. We got the bike right for race day, improved the grid position in race two and then he just got duffed up a bit. It’s a shame but it is what it is. We were on the podium at Donington earlier in the year so hopefully we can do that again with not one but two riders!”