There was jubilation in the McAMS Yamaha garage at Donington Park on Sunday as Jason O’Halloran took the team’s first victory since Thruxton last year in a stunning Race 2 display.
After the disappointment of Saturday’s Bike Social Sprint Race, in which a strange tyre issue saw the Australian drop through the pack and finish 14th, O’Halloran was keen to make amends on Sunday.
Switching to the harder, SC0 tyre, which was always in the plan for the longer race, O’Halloran was in the mix from the off, settling into fourth place knowing tyre conservation would be key. Closing in on the leading trio, O’Halloran was feeling comfortable but a safety car intervention with five laps to go changed the scenario slightly.
Knowing the pack would be brought together, O’Halloran went on the attack as the race resumed. After an intense battle for the lead, he took the lead with three laps to go and despite some pressure from Ryan Vickers, he was able to lead to the line to take his first win of 2023.
Starting third in the final race, hopes were high for a repeat performance however a overheating issue hampered the R1’s top speed, limiting O’Hallorans chances. Despite this, he hung on to the leading group throughout the race but was only able to cross the line seventh.
Rookie Tim Neave crashed out of the second race after contact with another rider bent his brake lever. Not realising, Neave reached for the brake into Coppice. Managing to get it back down and apply some brake, he managed to slow but not before he’d hit the gravel, crashing out of contention. This then hampered him in race three, where he crossed the line 16th.
O’Halloran’s results move him up to sixth in the championship, 49 points behind series leader Tommy Bridewell.
The team now heads to Knockhill for a two day test on 30-31 May before Round 4 of the championship takes place at the Scottish Circuit between 16-18 June.