Jason O’Halloran celebrated a double Bennetts British Superbike Championship race win in front of a bumper crowd at Knockhill, holding off standings leader Bradley Ray in the final race of the weekend by just 0.993s as the McAMS Yamaha rider banished his previous bad luck at the Scottish circuit.
O’Halloran had earlier overcome his previous Knockhill demons to claim his first ever Bennetts BSB race win at the Fife circuit in the second race of the weekend, holding off his title rivals to return to the top of the podium.
At the start of the race Kyle Ryde had hit the front of the pack ahead of teammate Ray and Rory Skinner, but the local contender was into the lead by the time they crossed the line to complete the first lap.
At the front, Skinner was trying to hold off Ray and O’Halloran, who had pushed Ryde down the order, but on the eighth lap Leon Haslam and Storm Stacey crashed at the Hairpin, causing a BMW Safety Car intervention.
When the race resumed, Skinner was still able to hold off Ray and O’Halloran initially, but the McAMS Yamaha rider was on a charge. On lap 22, Ray got slightly out of line coming into the Hairpin and O’Halloran seized the opportunity to move ahead.
O’Halloran then had Skinner in his sights as he hunted his elusive first race win in Scotland. He made his move to hit the front of the field with four laps remaining as Lee Jackson also joined the trio ahead of him to fight for the podium.
As O’Halloran had the marginal edge, the Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki riders were dueling for second place, trading blows for several laps. Skinner led the teammates at the start of the final lap, but then Jackson made his move.
Jackson held off the counter attack from Skinner as the pair awarded the Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki team their first double podium finish with Ray taking the chequered flag in fourth place.
Tommy Bridewell completed the top five for the Oxford Products Racing Ducati team as he had an advantage over Josh Brookes, Danny Buchan and Glenn Irwin. Ryde meanwhile dropped to ninth as Tarran Mackenzie salvaged tenth place following his back of the grid start after he missed yesterday’s eBay Sprint race.
At the start of the third race, local hero Skinner was bidding to add a hat trick of podium finishes to his tally at his home round, and he launched into the lead on the Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki ahead of O’Halloran and Ray.
Skinner though crashed out of the lead on the fifth lap and that left Ray, who had moved into second, and O’Halloran, to have a Yamaha duel for supremacy at the front of the field.
Ray was holding the advantage until there were just five laps to go when the McAMS Yamaha rider made his attack; diving down the inside at the Hairpin to take the lead.
O’Halloran was able to edge a 0.993s over Ray at the chequered flag, with the battle for third becoming a five-way scrap before Jackson fought off the opposition, claiming his second podium finish of the weekend.
Buchan had carved his way through the field on the SYNETIQ BMW to claim fourth place to secure his best result of the season so far, making moves on the dicing pack of Bridewell, Glenn Irwin and Josh Brookes.
Mackenzie closed in on Brookes over the final laps, taking eighth place for McAMS Yamaha with Ryde and Tom Sykes completing the top ten.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Knockhill, Race 2 result:
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha)
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) +0.715s
- Rory Skinner (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) +1.010s
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) +1.821s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +2.810s
- Josh Brookes (MCE Ducati) +3.406s
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) +4.327s
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) +4.439s
- Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) +6.094s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +7.286s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Knockhill, Race 3 result:
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha)
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.993s
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) +1.587s
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) +2.302s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +4.560s
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) +5.284s
- Josh Brookes (MCE Ducati) +6.082s
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +6.373s
- Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) +12.846s
- Tom Sykes (MCE Ducati) +14.502s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Knockhill:
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) 216
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 200
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) 174
- Rory Skinner (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) 148
- Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) 141
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) 134
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 94
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) 84
Knockhill double race winner
“It’s been an incredible weekend, yesterday I was absolutely buzzing with second. This isn’t the best track for me, but I enjoyed the race yesterday and I was looking forward to today.
“The guys have done a great job with the bike, improved it a bit off the back of yesterday and it felt incredible and managed to get another pair of wins.
“We’ve had four wins in the last six races, six podiums from six races and we are closing down the podium points and championship leads.
“An awesome couple of weekends, I’m feeling super strong in the races, in complete control and I can’t wait to keep progressing and getting stronger as the season moves on.”
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