O'Halloran denied win by 0.038 seconds in Donington thriller

O'Halloran denied win by 0.038 seconds in Donington thriller

Jason O’Halloran returned to the sharp end in a thrilling opening Bennetts British Superbike race at Donington Park, narrowly missing out on a first victory of the season as Yamaha took their first ever podium lockout.

Having shown pace all weekend, the Aussie set the quickest ever two-wheeled lap of Donington Park in FP3 before going even quicker in Qualifying with a 1’05.289 to take pole position for the opening race.

From pole he got a strong start to lead the early stages, but the OMG Racing Yamahas and FS3 Racing Kawasakis put up a fight. Dropping back to fourth at one stage, O’Halloran kept his cool, fighting off attacks from behind before moving through and setting chase after the two OMG bikes, who had pulled a slight gap.

Setting a new lap record as he charged towards his fellow Yamaha riders, O’Halloran reeled them in with three to go, making his move on series leader Bradley Ray instantly. Just half a second then sat between him and race leader Kyle Ryde and with another lap record on the penultimate lap, he sat on the rear of the leading R1 on the final lap. Attempting a move at the Old Hairpin, he couldn’t quite make it stick leaving only the last corner to make an attack. Lunging up the inside, he made it through but lost drive onto the main straight allowing Ryde to nick the win by 0.038 seconds.

O’Halloran joined race winner Kyle Ryde and Bradley Ray (third) on a historic podium for Yamaha Racing as they locked out the rostrum with the R1 taking first, second and third places. The Aussie’s lap record will see him start the second race from pole position.

Reigning champion Tarran Mackenzie lined up on the grid for his first Bennetts BSB race since he took the crown at Brands Hatch last October. Still held back by the injured ankle and struggling with arm-pump after not riding for so long, Mackenzie impressed as he progressed from Q1 to Q2, which would have been impressive in itself until the Scotsman set his fastest ever lap of Donington National to qualify an incredible eighth place.

Starting well but keen to stay out of trouble, Mackenzie set about the race action in a cool and collected way, bringing it home in a strong tenth place to open his 2022 account with valuable points.

There was cause for celebration in the Pirelli National Superstock Championship too as Tim Neave took a strong second place despite a red flag intervention making things a little trickier than he had hoped. In the first ten laps of the 20 lap race, Neave sat a strong second and was looking to make a move on race leader Davey Todd in the second half when the red flags came out. An eight lap sprint would restart shortly after and Neave was a little beaten up in the opening stages, dropping back to fifth. Remaining calm, it took a few laps to break through to fourth but when he did he wasted no time, moving up to second and then making an attack for the win on the final lap. Unfortunately, in a move later mirrored by team-mate O’Halloran, Neave would gain the lead at the chicane on the final lap before being dragged to the line by his rival. Nonetheless, he maintains his championship lead and is feeling confident for tomorrow.

Jason O'Halloran

Qualifying

1st

Race

2nd

“It has been a really, really good day for us. We took pole with the fastest ever lap here, finished second in the race and set a new lap record. I was feeling really good on the bike, I got onto Kyle with a lap to go and wanted to try and win but we just missed out. I think we’re in a really strong place for tomorrow and I think the longer races tomorrow will suit us, we had great pace at the end and the others seemed to be dropping off a bit. I’m sure we’ll make some small improvements with the information from the race so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Tarran Mackenzie

Qualifying

8th

Race

10th

“I’m happy with that, I haven’t done too many laps in practice with my ankle and I’ve been struggling a bit with arm pump after not riding for so long. That’s probably the most amount of laps we’ve done since Brands Hatch, so it was always going to be tough but I’m happy with my race. At mid-race distance I was lapping at a decent pace and then from there on I tailed off the group a bit, but I was happy to be riding with the likes of Bridewell, Hicky and Iddon. I couldn’t quite challenge them but I could ride with them which is good. I’m struggling a bit as I can’t use my ankle or my foot properly which means I’m over-compensating with my arm which is causing arm-pump which is a bit of an issue but it’s to be expected after hardly riding all winter. I’ve got to be happy, each time I go out I have a better feeling and we are making steps forward.”

Tim Neave

Edwards 1902 Superstock

Qualifying

1st

Race

1st

“I’m absolutely buzzing with that. Of course it would’ve been nice to win and I think with another lap I could’ve made it stick, but a second place is a great result. In the first race, I was planning my attack but then the red flag came out. The restart wasn’t quite as straightforward, but once I got through I was feeling strong and could make passes so I thought I’d give it a go. We just missed out, but there’s another race tomorrow and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.”

Steve Rodgers

Team Principal

“That’s more like it! Jason rode incredibly today, we’ve known he had pace all weekend but it was nice to get to the race and see it in action. This weekend almost feels like round one for us, we’ve learned a lot about the bike in the first two rounds and he showed that it has paid off today. He was unlucky not to win but fortunately we have two more chances tomorrow. Tarran was heroic, he’s lapped quicker than he has ever been around here and it’s his first race back, he scored some important points so that’s a great start to the season. Again, Tim was brilliant! It was a shame to see him miss out on the win, but like with Jason, he’s got another go tomorrow!”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, eBay Sprint Race result:

Pos Rider Team Bike
1 Kyle Ryde RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha Yamaha
2 Jason O'Halloran McAMS Yamaha Yamaha
3 Bradley Ray RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha Yamaha
4 Lee Jackson FS-3 Racing Kawasaki Kawasaki
5 Glenn Irwin Honda Racing Honda
6 Christian Iddon Buildbase Suzuki Suzuki
7 Rory Skinner FS-3 Racing Kawasaki Kawasaki
8 Tommy Bridewell Oxford Products Ducati
9 Peter Hickman FHO Racing BMW BMW
10 Tarran Mackenzie McAMS Yamaha Yamaha
  • Tim Neave Donington
  • Taz Donington

2022 Bennetts British Superbike Championship Standings

Pos Rider Team Bike PTS
1 Bradley Ray RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha Yamaha 216
2 Jason O'Halloran McAMS Yamaha Yamaha 200
3 Lee Jackson FS-3 Racing Kawasaki Kawasaki 174
4 Rory Skinner FS-3 Racing Kawasaki Kawasaki 148
5 Kyle Ryde RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha Yamaha 141
6 Glenn Irwin Honda Racing Honda 134
7 Tommy Bridewell Oxford Products Ducati 94
8 Danny Buchan SYNETIQ BMW MOTORRAD BMW 84
9 Josh Brookes MCE Ducati Ducati 77
15th Tarran Mackenzie McAMS Yamaha Yamaha 35

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