O’halloran Maintains Winning Momentum At Donington ParkJason O’Halloran continued his winning streak in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship by claiming victory in the opening BikeSocial Race at Donington Park, following an intense battle in the opening race of the weekend.

O’Halloran launched into the lead from the pole position, but Glenn Irwin soon grabbed the advantage to put the Honda ahead. Meanwhile though Tarran Mackenzie had moved into second place as championship leader O’Halloran was initially pushed back down the order.

By the third lap, Christian Iddon had carved his way through from fourth to become the third different race leader in as many laps, before Glenn Irwin then regained the position a lap later.

The BMW Safety Car was deployed when Joey Thompson crashed out at Coppice on the fifth lap, with the pack forming up for the restart with Glenn Irwin leading Iddon, O’Halloran, Mackenzie, Andrew Irwin and Ryan Vickers.

Glenn Irwin defended his position hard, holding off the chasing pack as O’Halloran moved up the order and was holding second place by the halfway point of the race.

Two laps later and O’Halloran made a move for the lead into Redgate and started to try and break the pack. The McAMS Yamaha rider edged out a 1.866s advantage at the chequered flag over the final seven laps.

The battle for the final podium positions continued to rage right until the finish line as Mackenzie had fought back into second place, narrowly ahead of Glenn Irwin and Iddon.

However, the McAMS Yamaha rider was demoted to third on the final lap when his Honda Racing rival made a final attempt for second on the brakes at Roberts for the last time and had the edge to the line with Iddon in fourth.

Tommy Bridewell was fifth for the Oxford Products Racing Ducati team after Ryan Vickers was issued a two-second time penalty for a course cut on the RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki, pushing him to sixth just ahead of Andrew Irwin.

Lee Jackson finished eighth to maintain the final position in the top eight in the standings currently, with Peter Hickman and Bradley Ray completing the top ten. It was another difficult race for defending champion Josh Brookes; he ended the race in 18th position.

The victory in the opening race means that O’Halloran has put himself in contention for the £50,000 prize in the Milwaukee Summer Grand Slam, if he can complete six consecutive race wins across this weekend at Donington Park and the next event at Cadwell Park.

However, tomorrow his Bennetts BSB rivals could also put themselves in with a chance, as five victories across the six races nets a £25,000 prize and four wins claims £10,000.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Donington Park National, BikeSocial Race 1:

  1. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha)
  2. Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +1.866s
  3. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +1.944s
  4. Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +2.429s
  5. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +4.048s
  6. Ryan Vickers (RAF Regular & Reserve Kawasaki) +4.671s
  7. Andrew Irwin (SYNETIQ BMW) +5.731s
  8. Lee Jackson (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +5.984s
  9. Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +6.175s
  10. Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +6.195s

Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Donington Park BikeSocial Race 1:

  1.  Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 257
  2. Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) 203
  3. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 189
  4. Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) 165
  5. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 121
  6. Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) 115
  7. Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) 101
  8. Lee Jackson (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) 96

Jason O’Halloran – McAMS Yamaha
Bike Social Race 1 winner

“The start of the race was actually quite difficult as I think all the boys know now they’ve got to get in front of me to try and slow me down a little bit!

“Once I get to the front I seem to be able to do my own thing and I’ve got really good pace, so I know I just need to get to the front.

“I was giving it as good as I was getting it, especially at the start as it was pretty frantic! I wasn’t really too keen on using the kerbs in the first part of the race, which is why I kept getting passed into turn one because I wasn’t committing to the last chicane.

“Once I figured out what I could do I got to the front, got my head down and once I saw plus one on the board, I just controlled the gap.

“I had a really strong pace so I am looking forward to the longer races tomorrow as I think it will suit us even more. Just another five races to go to try to win the Milwaukee money! It was definitely nice to start off with a win and keep myself in the mix for it.”

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O’halloran Maintains Winning Momentum At Donington Park

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