Jason O’Halloran ended his injury plagued Bennetts British Superbike season on a high with a podium finish at Brands Hatch.
O’Halloran began the second race of the weekend from 10th on the grid, and made a great start to join the battle for the podium on the opening lap.
In tricky wet conditions, the Australian would battle with Leon Haslam and Tommy Bridewell throughout the race. The trio exchanged positions on a number of occasions, with O’Halloran eventually crossing the line in third place – 1.260s away from second.
The weather worsened for the final race of the season, but O’Halloran was again able to get off to a strong start. Despite running inside the top three in the early stages, O’Halloran would eventually fall down the order and finish eighth.
Reflecting on the final weekend and season as a whole, O’Halloran said:
“It’s so nice to finish the year on the podium and I’m so pleased to be back up there after a difficult start to this weekend. I fought as hard as I could in the second race and as soon as I got past, I went back onto the attack, and it was probably one of the most enjoyable races I’ve ever had.
“To finish the year with another podium and a trophy after the struggle we’ve had since May is just fantastic and a great way to reward Honda Racing and the team for all their hard work and support. It has finished a very difficult season on a high and I’ll go away now, rest and re-charge the batteries for next year.”
Eighth place in the season finale means that O’Halloran misses out on The Rider’s Cup by just two points, with the trophy going to Tommy Bridewell.
O’Halloran’s teammate, Dan Linfoot, withdrew from the final weekend of the season after Free Practice 2, still suffering with pain from the impact he sustained at Assen last time out.
Looking back over the season, Linfoot admitted that it had been a difficult year for him and the team. He said:
“It’s been a very difficult year with the injuries and the inconsistency; we had highs at the first round and then spent the rest of the year recovering from injury. It’s been tough for the team and myself, and the overall championship position is irrelevant really, and isn’t a reflection of where I am and also the team.
“I’m sorry to Honda and to my side of the garage, it’s not been our year but sometimes this happens in racing and we have to take the positives where we can. Congratulations to Jason for his podium in Race 2, it was great to see him back up there, and it’s a nice reward to finish the year.”
It is not yet known who will ride for Honda Racing in 2019, however O’Halloran has been linked with a move to the McAMS Yamaha team following the departure of Josh Brookes.