Qualifying proved to be a challenging affair for the McAMS Yamaha team at Donington Park with both Tarran Mackenzie and Jason O’Halloran missing out on the chance to fight for pole.
After two wet sessions on Friday, Saturday’s proceedings began with the first dry session of the weekend. With a number of new parts to test from Yamaha including a new option link, both Mackenzie and O’Halloran were kept busy, completing a number of runs throughout the 45 minutes. Struggling with the front end, Mackenzie ended the session tenth quickest, behind team-mate O’Halloran in ninth.
Both sides were confident they’d found improvements for qualifying and things were looking good as they progressed through to Q2 with ease. Things were looking strong in Q2, and with two minutes to go Mackenzie was sat in seventh place. However, the team took the risk of hoping he’d be safe and kept a tyre for Q3, but he narrowly missed out and will start the first race tenth with O’Halloran one spot behind in 11th.
It was also a tough day for rookie Matt Truelove, who qualified 29th.
Qualifying: 10th Time: 1’29.595
“The bike felt alright in FP3 but in qualifying I struggled in Q1. The bike got better for Q2 and I felt like I’d done a good lap time, but I didn’t want to use two tyres to get into Q3 but we didn’t get in. We’ve learned quite a lot on the data tonight so I feel we are in a good position if it’s dry tomorrow and if it’s wet, the bike felt quite good yesterday so I’m confident we are prepared for both conditions.”
Qualifying: 11th Time: 1’29.614
“It’s not been an ideal day, we’re struggling in a few areas. I was disappointed not to make Q3 but we tried. We’ll put our heads together tonight and see what we can do for tomorrow. The weather is obviously going to play a huge part, it looks like it could be wet for one race and dry for the other so we’ll get up tomorrow morning and see what the day brings.”
Qualifying: 29th Time: 1’31.629
“It’s not been a great day. I felt good on the bike this morning and went quicker than I’ve ever gone around here but things just didn’t come together for us in qualifying. The weather looks like it could come in to play tomorrow so we’ll see what that does and go from there.”
“It’s been a difficult day. Yesterday was wet so this morning was kind of starting from scratch, we’re trying a couple of new parts and for whatever reason it’s just not come together this weekend. Taz should have been in Q3 really, but we made the mistake of not sending him back out at the end of Q2 on a new tyre and he just got nudged out in the end. Jason tried, but just lost a bit too much time to make progress. The boys are putting their heads together tonight to see what they can come up with for tomorrow, but we have to see what the weather does before choosing a direction to go in.”