Jason O’Halloran ended his recent run of torrid fortunes by claiming his first victory in the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship to become the fifth different race winner of the season, following a sensational second race at Donington Park.
However, in the final race at the third round, Kyle Ryde rebounded from a race two crash to become the first rider to claim a double victory on a weekend where seven different riders celebrated podium success. Ten points now separate the leading five riders in the standings ahead of Knockhill (June 16/17/18).
Ryde had taken the spoils in yesterday’s BikeSocial Sprint Race and again he launched off the line with an incredible start from the front row with Leon Haslam and O’Halloran in close contention.
A sensational race ensued and whilst Ryde held the advantage, behind him Haslam and O’Halloran were trading blows for second place as Tommy Bridewell was also soon in the lead group pushing for the podium finishes.
In the battle for the win, Ryde was still leading the pack, but he couldn’t bridge the advantage and behind him, Haslam, Bridewell and O’Halloran were continuously swapping positions in their quest for the top three.
It was heartbreak for Ryde though when he crashed out of the lead on lap 12 and with debris from the stricken LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha, the BMW Safety Car was deployed as the Herock Racesafe Marshals cleared the crash damage.
There was then just five laps left to decide the winner when the race resumed and it became a six-way battle initially as Haslam instantly made a move on Bridewell, but O’Halloran made a pass too and that eased the lone BeerMonster Ducati into third. His teammate Glenn Irwin had crashed out at Redgate unhurt.
O’Halloran hit the front of the pack, but Haslam instantly fought back to regain the position, but into Redgate on lap 16 Bridewell made a decisive pass to snatch the advantage with O’Halloran still holding third place. Josh Brookes though had also joined the battle at the front following the BMW Safety Car period.
Bridewell was leading with three laps remaining ahead of O’Halloran and Haslam, but the ROKiT BMW Motorrad rider was back into second place with a move at Redgate, only for his McAMS Yamaha rival to regain the advantage at McLeans.
O’Halloran held the lead, but behind Bridewell was forced to retire the BeerMonster Ducati, relinquishing his lead in the standings. Meanwhile, Ryan Vickers then put himself firmly in the podium fight and was up to second place ahead of Haslam and Brookes.
O’Halloran had the edge at the chequered flag to return to winning ways, just ahead of Vickers who celebrated an emotional debut podium in Bennetts BSB with Brookes completing the podium to move into the championship lead.
In the final race, Ryde again got a fantastic start to lead the pack ahead of his teammate Vickers and Bridewell. The BeerMonster Ducati rider was soon into second place, but Haslam was moving up the order too over the opening laps and he was soon into fourth.
On the same lap, Andrew Irwin’s difficult weekend came to a premature end when he crashed out with Storm Stacey at the Melbourne Loop. Andrew Irwin was penalised with three penalty points and a drop of three grid positions for his next race, following the incident.
Ryde was holding the advantage at the front but Bridewell continued to pile on the pressure and the pair eased out an advantage, but over the final two laps, the home contender had the edge to take his third win of the season.
Bridewell’s second place fired him back ahead in the championship standings, but only by three points as his teammate Glenn Irwin carved his way through the pack from eleventh on the grid to finish third and hold second in the title fight ahead of Knockhill.
Vickers continued his strong weekend with a fourth place finish as he led the next on track pack ahead of a Christian Iddon, who overcame illness to take his best result of the season with fifth for the Oxford Products Racing Ducati team.
Haslam scored the most points across the Oulton Park and Donington Park events to be crowned the winner of the Milwaukee Spring Grand Slam trophy.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Race 2 result:
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha)
- Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.347s
- Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad Team) +1.797s
- Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) +2.517s
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +3.927s
- Charlie Nesbitt (MasterMac Honda by Hawk Racing) +5.690s
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad Team) +6.564s
- Tom Neave (Honda Racing UK) +7.408s
- Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +7.790s
- Jack Kennedy (Mar-Train Racing Yamaha) +8.153s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park, Race 3 result:
- Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha)
- Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati) +1.397s
- Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati) +3.588s
- Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) +3.690s
- Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +4.999s
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) +5.137s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +5.581s
- Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) +9.123s
- Charlie Nesbitt (MasterMac Honda by Hawk Racing) +9.374s
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad) +11.351s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings:
- Tommy Bridewell (BeerMonster Ducati) 119
- Glenn Irwin (BeerMonster Ducati) 116
- Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW Motorrad Team) 114
- Leon Haslam (ROKiT BMW Motorrad) 110
- Kyle Ryde (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) 109
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 70
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) 70
- Ryan Vickers (LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha) 50
- Jack Kennedy (Mar-Train Racing Yamaha) 50
- Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 49
“I’m really chuffed to get our first win of the year, it’s obviously been a bit of a rollercoaster these first three rounds but we know we’ve had the speed, we’ve just had to put it together.
“I settled into the race really well, the safety car came out and then we made the most of the last four or five laps and managed to get our first win of the year.
“I’m disappointed with the last race, I felt like we had good speed and the bike felt good but we had an overheating issue which hurt our straight line speed. I’m sure the guys will get on top of that and fix it for the next one.
“All in all a positive weekend, three finishes, competitive throughout and our first win of the year.”
LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha
“Every track we have been on the podium so far this year and that was my aim but I think Knockhill will be tough!
“It’s been a great weekend in front of the home fans at my favourite track and obviously the weather’s been great to us. Hopefully everyone’s enjoyed the racing this weekend!
“The crash in race two, I didn’t do anything different. I just had a little crash at turn one. Unfortunately, the bike went end over end and clattered me in the knee so I had a big ice pack on it between the races.
“This track I always have gone well around and I have done what I wanted to do this weekend. I had one tip off and two wins, so I am proud with this weekend.”
“I am sure after 25-minutes home I will celebrate this weekend with my grandad and a beer!”
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