The final round of the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike championship was a mostly successful one for McAMS Yamaha, taking a win on Saturday and three further podium finishes in Sunday’s 20-lap races at an overcast Brands Hatch circuit meaning Jason O’Halloran would finish a career-best second n the 2020 title chase.
Just seven points adrift in the title hunt, O’Halloran was determined to fight for victory in the two 20-lap races at the Kent circuit. Starting from pole, the Australian slipped to fourth in the early stages of round 17 but quickly regained ground, passing Christian Iddon for third and set after team-mate Tarran Mackenzie who had held his second-place grid slot.
Chasing race-leader Josh Brookes, the 24-year-old made a costly mistake, crashing out of the race at Druids on lap eight, promoting his Aussie team-mate into second and taking him out of the title fight. The leading pair traded fastest laps, with the gap fluctuating between 1.8 and two seconds. With the hammer down, O’Halloran closed the gap, but the 32-year-old came just short of his second victory of the weekend but did limit the damage done in the title chase.
Twelve points behind going into the final race of the year, O’Halloran once again made a bright start, jumping to second at the halfway point of the opening lap. Mackenzie also had a promising start, although slipping to third from his pole position, the two-time winner looked comfortable as the leading trio escaped the chasing group.
The former British Supersport champion rode shotgun to his team-mate hoping to see the team take the title, but when it became clear Brookes was getting away he made a move and tried to spice it up that way. Having a few out-of-the-seat moments, he battled on but couldn’t get close enough to make the pass on the leader, settling for second with O’Halloran taking a comfortable third to solidify his second position in the 2020 BSB standings.
The season ended with 267 points and second position overall for Jason O’Halloran, who stormed to three race wins and eight further podium finishes. At the same time, team-mate Mackenzie secured two victories and four 2020 podiums, finishing fifth with 215 points.
The 2020 YZF-R1’s maiden season was nothing but remarkable, securing a total of five wins and 12 further podium finishes, ending the year second in the manufacturers’ standings. McAMS Yamaha finished an incredible season second in the team’s trophy championship, picking up 333.5 points throughout the 2020 season – marking the team’s best ever year in the Superbike class.