Jason O’Halloran is delighted with what he and the Honda Racing team achieved at Thruxton this past weekend after picking up a pair of six places in Hampshire.
The Australian started the opening race of the day in 10th but soon made his way through the pack. The high temperatures meant that tyre wear would be a likely issue for all the riders, however O’Halloran seemed at manage it well and entered the final lap in third.
Unfortunately for O’Halloran, he came together with Josh Brookes heading into the Club Chicane and was forced wide. This incident led to O’Halloran crossing the line in sixth.
O’Halloran made another strong start from eighth on the grid in race two and was soon battling for a podium once again. Whilst in third spot, O’Halloran was forced wide after taking evasive action to avoid contact with another rider at the Club Chicane. The 30-year-old was given a time penalty and dropped back down the order to take another sixth place.
Reflecting on the weekend, O’Halloran said that he team should be proud of their achievements:
“It’s been a really positive weekend for us and although the results say two sixth places, in the first race we were up into third and coming into the final chicane we had a coming together with another rider and I ended up finishing sixth. We then got another strong sixth in race two. It’s a massive step forward from Brands, it’s only two weeks, but it’s been two weeks of hard work to improve, get fitter, stronger and get the ankle better to be able to do more laps on a Friday, which we managed here and what has helped us today.
“The boys have worked fantastic all weekend and the Fireblade has been great – we showed that in the first race by entering the last chicane with the leaders, where at Brands I didn’t see which way they went! We’ve made a good step and I’m pleased with today’s effort, although we want more than sixth I think from where we’ve come from in such a short time, we should all be happy with what we’ve achieved.”
The pair of six places leave O’Halloran 10th in the championship standings, only 15 points behind those all important showdown places. A good haul of points can only be positive thing according to team boss Havier Beltran:
“We’ve made progress this weekend with Jason; he’s fitter, stronger and more determined than ever. The situation in race one is a difficult one as that was a clear podium for Jason. But these things do happen on track and we see one perspective from the TV and I know the riders will have their perspective, but it’s a real shame as it would have been a podium. But we have positives to take from this weekend as we have shown that Jason can do it and he can fight for podiums, also we have come away with a good points haul and mathematically we can still be in with a chance of a spot in the Showdown.”
Round eight of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship takes place at Cadwell Park in two weeks time.