The penultimate round of the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike championship proved to be a testing one for McAMS Yamaha with both Tarran Mackenzie and Jason O’Halloran struggling throughout the weekend.
The duo couldn’t find a feeling in the dry on Saturday with the team missing Q3 for the first time this year. There was hope on Sunday morning when Mackenzie sat third in a wet warm-up, but both races would end up being dry meaning the riders headed in blind having been unable to test any improvements in dry conditions prior to race one.
After a difficult start, the duo would struggle to make progress throughout the race with O’Halloran crossing the line 11th and Mackenzie 12th. They did however manage to improve their grid positions for race two, starting seventh and eighth on the third row of the grid.
A better start saw the duo fighting for the top six throughout before dropping back at the end. Mackenzie finished ninth and O’Halloran tenth.
After the challenging weekend, Mackenzie still sits fifth in the title chase now 21 points behind fourth-placed Danny Buchan, while O’Halloran remains in contention for the Riders’ Cup in ninth.
Matt Truelove managed to improve from a difficult qualifying to finish 21st in both of the day’s outings.
After what has been a disappointing round, the team will put their heads together in the time leading up to Brands Hatch as they seek to return to the sharp end for the final round of the year, which takes place between 18-20 October.
Race 1: 12th Race 2: 9th Championship: 5th
“As we didn’t get a dry warm-up, we couldn’t try something different so we went into race one a little blind. The bike didn’t feel the best and I struggled a lot on the front. We made a change for race two which definitely helped the bike, I had a lot stronger pace and was a lot closer to the guys in front which was good. I’m feeling better in myself and on the bike and gaining a lot more confidence. Brands was good for us earlier in the year until the crash so hopefully we can end the year on a high.”
Race 1: 11th Race 2: 10th Championship: 5th
“That was one of the more difficult weekends. We struggled all weekend. Friday was wet, Saturday was dry and both races today were dry. We generally struggled to find a feeling. I struggled for grip in the first race and in one of the biggest surprises, I really struggled on new tyres. I got stronger towards the end once the tyre went away and did my fastest lap on the last lap of the race which is a bit backwards. Race two was better but I struggled with wheelie on the stop start corners, I’m having to use the rear brake so much we’re just getting beat on the straights. We need to see what we can do to improve it to see if we can finish the year off good.”
Race 1: 21st Race 2: 21st
“It was an interesting race day, I wouldn’t say I’m happy but I’m not exactly unhappy and I’m a lot happier than yesterday. I felt quite good in that last race but I made a mistake after the safety car and ended up battling with a few people and couldn’t get back through. All in all it’s been a productive weekend. There’s one more weekend left to see if we can try and score some points!”
“That was a tough weekend. You can put positives on it, like we all came away in once piece and had no damaged bikes, but quite simply the results were not good enough. We have shown throughout the year that we can fight towards the front and even if one rider has had a tough weekend, the other one has been fighting for the podium or at the very least the top six. We’ll put our heads together and find out what went wrong. We seem to be struggling a bit with wheelie and there are a few other things, but the boys are already on it so we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks and hopefully we can end the season on a high at Brands.”
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Race 1 result:
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) +2.094s
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) +5.101s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +7.895s
- Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) +12.973s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +15.249s
- Xavi Forés (Honda Racing) +17.671s
- Ryan Vickers (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki) +18.215s
- Luke Mossey (OMG Racing Suzuki) +18.780s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +19.001s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +20.018
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +20.766
Bennetts British Superbike Championship Race two result:
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) +0.513s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) +5.316s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +9.420s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +11.916s
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +12.014s
- Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) +12.560s
- Xavi Forés (Honda Racing) +12.736s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +14.603s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +15.302s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings:
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) 645
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) 617
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) 580
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) 559
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 538
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 530
- Xavi Fores (Honda Racing) 186
- Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) 181
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 167
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 166