O'Halloran ignites title fight with Brands Victory, Mackenzie takes third

O'Halloran ignites title fight with Brands Victory, Mackenzie takes third

at Brands Hatch

Jason O’Halloran ignited his quest for the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike crown with victory in an incredible opening race at Brands Hatch while team-mate Tarran Mackenzie continued his strong run of form to complete the podium in third.

Having sat out the morning’s session due to iffy conditions, the duo’s first real-time on track on Saturday was in qualifying. O’Halloran stormed straight to the top of the timesheets while Mackenzie made up for time lost on Friday.

Aussie O’Halloran was pipped for pole in the closing stages by title rival Josh Brookes, while Mackenzie improved to ninth to take his strongest qualifying of the year.

The race would be a showstopper, with O’Halloran settling into fourth in the early stages of what would become a 16 lap ding-dong, initially between title fighters Brookes, Irwin, Iddon and O’Halloran. The quartet had gapped the chasing pack slightly after the first three laps, but with moves coming left right and centre the others were soon close behind.

O’Halloran bided his time before attacking, but it was no easy feat for the Australian with Ducati’s Iddon fighting hard. However, he’d eventually make it through with a strong pass at Stirling’s before pulling the pin to take the win.

Having fought through from ninth on the grid, Mackenzie’s late-race pace almost had McAMS Yamaha a one-two, but the 24-year-old lost out on the final lap to Ducati’s Iddon.

Series leader Brookes finished fourth, meaning O’Halloran’s victory sees him close to within seven points of the title lead. Mackenzie is still mathematically in contention, 43 points behind.

The 2020 season concludes tomorrow with two races, one at 12:45 and the other at 16:00.

Jason O'Halloran

Qualifying

2nd

Race 1

1st

“That was an exciting race. I look forward to watching it back! There were so many passes I can’t remember them all! I tried to stay as close to the front as I could, when I got overtaken I made sure I went straight back at them as I didn’t want to drop too far down the group. The pace wasn’t overly fast, I was quite comfortable, but the issue was trying to stay ahead of the person you passed as they had the same idea, as soon as you got past they’d be straight back at you. It was a tricky race in the middle but towards the end I got to the front, had one clear lap and saw +0.3 and thought I’m going now. My tyre was still good right to the end, the bike was working really well. There are a few little areas we can improve to try and make our life easier tomorrow, but I think we can be stronger again. The 20 lappers should suit us, we are strong at the end of the race so I’m looking forward to two important races tomorrow – it will be the biggest day of my career.”

Tarran Mackenzie

Qualifying

9th

Race 1

3rd

“I made it hard for myself crashing out again yesterday, obviously I don’t do it on purpose, so it was annoying as we lost those valuable laps as it was wet for FP2 this morning meaning we went into qualifying blind. I knew through qualifying each lap, I wasn’t particularly trying extra hard and it was coming quite easy so I knew in the race that if I could get with the group, get used to the setting on the bike and then push on further to try and make some ground up. I had a good battle with Christian on the last couple of laps and then I was out of the seat a couple of times, so seeing I had a gap to the guys behind I knew I was comfortable for the third. Another double McAMS Yamaha podium, a great race for Jason too so it puts us in good stead for tomorrow.”

Steve Rodgers

Team Owner

“What a race, and what a ride from both Jason and Taz. We were sat in the garage watching from behind our hands! It was an exhilarating battle and predicting the winner was impossible as everyone was so strong, you could see how much they wanted it.

“There were hard-but-fair moves by the bucket load and keeping your calm was of the utmost importance and that’s exactly what Jason did by not getting too flustered, stay with the group and then made his move and pull the pin as soon as he was able to. The championship is certainly a possibility tomorrow and we’ll be doing our all to take it.

“Tarran said tonight that motorcycle racing is both the best and worst sport in the world, there is no in between. Last night he felt the downside after the crash, but once again he bounced back to ride incredibly to another podium and I have every faith that he can do it all over again tomorrow. The championship is still mathematically possible for him, so the aim is for him to finish as high up the standings as he can!”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Brands Hatch, Race One:

Pos Rider Team Bike
1 Jason O'Halloran McAMS Yamaha Yamaha
2 Christian Iddon VisionTrack Ducati Ducati
3 Tarran Mackenzie McAMS Yamaha Yamaha
4 Josh Brookes VisionTrack Ducati Ducati
5 Danny Buchan SYNETIQ BMW MOTORRAD BMW
6 Glenn Irwin Honda Racing Honda
7 Andrew Irwin SYNETIQ BMW MOTORRAD BMW
8 Lee Jackson FS-3 Racing Kawasaki Kawasaki
9 Tommy Bridewell Oxford Products Ducati
10 Gino Rea Buildbase Suzuki Suzuki
  • Jason O'Halloran Brands Hatch

Bennetts British Superbike Championship Standings

Pos Rider Team Bike PTS
1 Josh Brookes VisionTrack Ducati Ducati 288
2 Jason O'Halloran McAMS Yamaha Yamaha 267
3 Christian Iddon VisionTrack Ducati Ducati 258
4 Glenn Irwin Honda Racing Honda 226
5 Tarran Mackenzie McAMS Yamaha Yamaha 215
6 Andrew Irwin SYNETIQ BMW MOTORRAD BMW 172
7 Tommy Bridewell Oxford Products Ducati 168
8 Lee Jackson FS-3 Racing Kawasaki Kawasaki 157
9 Kyle Ryde RICH Energy OMG Racing BMW 137
10 Danny Buchan SYNETIQ BMW MOTORRAD BMW 131

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