Fruitful Knockhill Test for McAMS Yamaha

Fruitful Knockhill Test for McAMS Yamaha

The McAMS Yamaha team has concluded a successful two-day private test at Knockhill as preparation continues for the fourth round of the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship.

With winter testing hampered by poor weather, the 2021 champions squad opted to start the 2023 season with what they knew for title contender Jason O’Halloran running a full 2022-spec bike for the opening three rounds.

While the opening three rounds haven’t been plain sailing for the Aussie, he’s shown speed at each meeting, culminating in his first victory of the year last time out at Donington. However, the team were keen to move forward and with a stash of new parts to test from the World Superbike team – two days in the Scottish sunshine at Knockhill were exactly what the doctor ordered.

O’Halloran spent the first day of the test, which was an open pit lane day meaning lots of track time, evaluating a number of new chassis parts including the new WorldSBK-spec carbon subframe and latest factory swingarm which were both found to offer an improvement in grip. On the second day, attention turned to evaluating different engine specs with plenty more track time and lots of data to pour over ahead of the race weekend next month.

While O’Halloran was busy evaluating parts to move the R1 forward, rookie Tim Neave was working towards a different kind of progress as he continues to learn his way around the Superbike. After the wet weather testing, most of Neave’s learning time has been during the limited constraints of a race weekend so the 28-year-old was pleased to get some dry testing time under his belt.

Posting competitive lap times, the rookie was happy with his morning’s riding but unfortunately, a freak technical issue in the afternoon session saw him crash at turn seven. Fortunately, Neave was OK after the off and able to return to the track on Wednesday completing two further sessions on track.

The team will be back at Knockhill in just over two weeks’ time for the fourth round of the 2023 season between 16-18 June.

Jason O'Halloran

“We’ve had a really good couple of days at Knockhill! The weather has been good, especially yesterday so we’ve managed to get through everything we needed to get through in our test programme. We’ve definitely made some improvements to bike with the new chassis parts we’ve got, today was focused on the engine spec and worked through what we needed to with that. I’m happy enough with the overall lap time and we also did a long run at the end of the day so we’ve got through a lot. We’re in a really good starting place for when we come back here for the race.”

Tim Neave

“Obviously last year I had the biggest crash of my career at Knockhill when the handlebar snapped off coming into the hairpin, so for me it was about getting up here and doing some laps and getting comfortable. To be honest, after a couple of laps I was feeling good. I was happy with the track and the bike felt good, I was putting in some quite competitive times with a reasonable gap to Jason. Unfortunately, we had a freak technical problem which caused me to crash on Tuesday afternoon which set us back a bit. It was quite a big crash but fortunately, I was ok, if a bit stiff! I managed to get back out on Wednesday to get some more laps under my belt and now I’m looking forward to a few weeks’ rest and then getting back out for round four.”

Steve Rodgers

Team Principal

“We came into 2023 with a number of new parts from Yamaha Motor Europe’s race R&D in Italy but with the weather for pre-season testing, we started the year with what we knew as there’s far too much going on during a race weekend to be testing things. Therefore, this test at Knockhill presented the perfect opportunity to try our new components and fully evaluate them with thorough back-to-back testing. We are leaving this test feeling like we’ve achieved something – the chassis parts are a clear step forward on the old bike and we’ve a direction to go in with engine spec so all in all it’s been a very productive test.”

2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship

Pos Rider Team Bike PTS
1 Glenn Irwin PBM Ducati Ducati 360.5
2 Tommy Bridewell PBM Ducati Ducati 360
3 Kyle Ryde RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha Yamaha 300
4 Leon Haslam ROKiT BMW Motorrad Team BMW 283
5 Lee Jackson FS-3 Racing Kawasaki Kawasaki 280.5
6 Jason O'Halloran McAMS Yamaha Yamaha 276.5
7 Josh Brookes FHO Racing BMW 250
8 Christian Iddon Oxford Ducati Ducati 222
9 Ryan Vickers OMG Racing Yamaha 207
10 Charlie Nesbitt Hawk Racing Honda 122.5

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