The McAMS Yamaha team made the most of difficult circumstances on Saturday at Brands Hatch, taking decent points and more importantly bagging a second row start for tomorrow’s second race.
Third free practice was another session rendered pointless with the track wet from overnight rainfall, while the forecast was for no more rain and dry conditions later in the day for qualifying and the first race.
Q1 was the first time any rider had taken to the track in fully dry conditions this year, but there were still some damp patches littered around the course. After enjoying a strong initial feeling with his YZF-R1, Mackenzie was looking good but he’d unfortunately clip a damp patch on the way into Stirlings. A rather innocuous crash turned into quite a dramatic one, as the R1 dug into the gravel and flipped over the barrier. A complete re-build would be required in the three hours before race one, which an unhurt Tarran would start from 22nd on the grid.
Flying the flag solo, O’Halloran made it all the way through to the final stage of qualifying where he’d qualify sixth.
The Aussie got a strong start from the second row of the grid to be fighting for the podium from the off. Mackenzie made steady progress to sit 15th when a blow-up for another rider resulted in the red flag coming out.
Starting fifth and 15th on the grid, the duo got off to a strong start – O’Halloran again battling for the podium and Mackenzie chipping away moving up the field. Issues with a lack of grip held O’Halloran back towards the end, leaving him to cross the line sixth.
Mackenzie finished 11th, but crucially set the fifth fastest lap of the race to secure a second row start for tomorrow’s second race. O’Halloran will join him on the second row in sixth.
After running in the points in the mid-stage of the race, rookie Matt Truelove finished 17th.
Qualifying: 6th Race 1: 6th
“Today was OK. It was frustrating to be able to see the podium finishers, but I was just losing out in a couple of key areas. We’ll put our heads together tonight and see if we can improve some areas and have a couple of strong races tomorrow. I feel good within myself and for the second half of the track I felt really strong, but I struggled in the first half so if we can improve there I’ll be happy!”
Qualifying: 23rd Race 1: 11th
“Qualifying was going really well until I clipped a wet patch. It was unfortunate that in the way the bike bounced it barrel-rolled and went straight over the barrier and into the trees so the boys had a lot of work to do. They built a brand new bike from qualifying to race one and I came round to the grid and the only thing that needed adjusting was a lever, so they did a great job and a massive thanks to them as it’s not easy to re-build a bike in that time. The race was good, I struggled in the first part but after the red flag I felt a lot more comfortable. The second part of the race was good for us and I’m fifth on the grid tomorrow so we’ll be looking to end the year on a high.”
Qualifying: 22nd Race 1: 17th
“I’m happy with that, nobody had any dry track time before qualifying so we kind of went into it a bit blind but it was the same for everyone. I felt comfortable in the race, especially in the second half and I was looking good for points but I made a mistake and lost a few positions. We’ll have another go tomorrow!”
“I think we can leave Brands happy tonight after what has been a difficult day. The boys were feeling good in qualifying so it was a shame to see Taz hit a wet patch and go down. The bike was totalled – we had to build a completely new one before the race and although it was tight, the team did a great job to get that done. While the result wasn’t great for Taz, he’s fifth on the grid for tomorrow which is exciting. Jason continues to impress me, riding with a broken shoulder. Sixth today was good for him but he’s confident with a few changes we can be fighting for the podium tomorrow.”
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Datatag Qualifying result:
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati) 1:25.860s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +0.112s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +0.341s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) +0.472s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +0.611s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +0.626s
- Luke Mossey (OMG Racing Suzuki) +0.649s
- Bradley Ray (Buildbase Suzuki) +1.140s
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati)
22. Matt Truelove (McAMS Yamaha) Q1
23. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) Q1
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race 1 result:
- Josh Brookes (Be Wiser Ducati)
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Racing Ducati) +2.256s
- Scott Redding (Be Wiser Ducati) +8.435s
- Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +9.213s
- Danny Buchan (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +9.582s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +11.023s
- Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +11.958s
- Xavi Forés (Honda Racing) +15.964s
- Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) +16.194s
- Taylor Mackenzie (Tyco BMW) +16.305s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +16.620
17. Matt Truelove (McAMS Yamaha) +29.595