Round seven of the MCE British Superbike Championship ended on a positive note for Jason O’Halloran as he took third place in race two of the day at Brands Hatch.
The Honda Racing rider made a blistering start from fourth on the grid to take the lead of the race at Paddock Hill Bend.
The Australian led the majority of the race and initially managed to fight-off the challenge of Leon Haslam. The safety car was released on lap 17 however and the pack were bunched together once more.
After the re-start the duo were caught by the series leader Shane Byrne, who took full advantage of the pair battling each other to take the lead on lap 19. O’Halloran would eventually lose-out to Haslam for second place by just +0.009s.
O’Halloran had started the day off with a fourth place finish so he was delighted to go one better in the second race.
Looking back over the weekend, O’Halloran said: “I’m happy to be on the podium again after the first race, to come back and finish third was much better. We had a strong pace all weekend, unfortunately I messed up Superpole yesterday, which made the first race hard for us but coming back here this afternoon I lead most of the race and felt pretty comfortable – the Fireblade was working well after we made a few tweaks from the first race.
“Haslam came past and we had a bit of tussle, then after that the safety car was deployed, after that Shakey got us both in the first corner. I came into the next lap and I thought the flag was going to come out but then I saw a board saying an extra two laps to go, so I thought ‘right lets have another push and see if I can get second’. I tried really hard and it was one of my best laps of the race and I just missed out, but to be third is another podium credit, another good chunk of points towards the showdown and I’m happy to be back up on the podium.”
The results at Brands Hatch leave O’Halloran third in the championship on 135 points, 56-points behind Byrne and 26 behind second-place man Haslam.
The series now has a three-week break before heading to Cadwell Park, Lincolnshire, over the Bank Holiday Weekend.
Looking ahead to round eight, O’Halloran added: “I now can’t wait to get to Cadwell Park – I missed last year’s race through injury, but I absolutely love the place, it’s the team’s home race and mine. We had a great test there a few weeks ago and found a good setting on the CBR so I cant wait to get stuck in there.”