McAMS Yamaha returned to full force as practice got underway for Round 3 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Donington Park with reigning champion Tarran Mackenzie joining team-mate Jason O’Halloran for the first time at a race event this year.
It was a strong start for the duo too, with O’Halloran fourth on the timesheets at the end of the opening day. The Aussie’s time of a 1’05.952, set late in the second session, placed him within 0.4 seconds of the top. Thankfully the forecast rain held off for the majority of the day, but a sharp shower just after the start of FP2 brought everyone back to the garage. As the rain passed, the humid conditions dried the track quickly allowing for five minutes of full dry running at the end. However, a red flag would further interrupt that. Riders returned to the track with just two minutes left on the clock, allowing an outlap and two fliers at the end and it was fruitful for O’Halloran, who was the only rider to better his time in the closing stages, his first lap moved him up to fourth, before his second improved his time but not position.
After six weeks of no track time, the #1 of Tarran Mackenzie finally rolled out of pit lane for a 2022 free practice session but after an intensive recovery, it was a case of ‘steady away’ for the reigning champion. Spending his time getting comfortable on the bike, the 26-year-old was just 1.2 seconds off in the opening session of the day. He rounded out the timesheets 17th, 1.6 seconds from the top.
It was also a strong start to the weekend for Edwards 1902 Yamaha Superstock rider Tim Neave, who was second on the combined timesheets at the end of the day. His time of 1’07.389 was just 0.137 seconds off the top of the timesheets.
The opening races for the weekend take place tomorrow afternoon with lights out for the Superstock race at 15:40 and the Superbike race at 16:30.