Jason O’Halloran: What are you doing now your day job is postponed?

| | British Superbikes
Six years that beard has taken. Six...
Six years that beard has taken. Six... Picture: Impact Images

McAMS Yamaha Bennetts British Superbike contender Jason O’Halloran doesn’t have a lot to do at the moment as coronavirus has curtailed the season, so we asked him what he is doing to kill the time.

With the season postponed, what are you doing to keep motivated and how are you training ahead of the 2020 season?

I’m quite lucky that I have everything I need at home to keep training, I converted my garage into a gym not that long ago so I’m in there a couple of times a day, staying at home and following the guidelines from the government. I’m training just as much as I would be, it’s just more at home than usual!

I’m lacking some equipment at home compared to the gym so there are a few things that we’re missing or not able to do but we’re managing. The plan throughout pre-season was to be prepared for the 10th-12th of April. I wanted to be at my prime by then, but now obviously the program will change a little bit but the key is still to be ready for whenever we go racing.

You have done seven days of testing with the new R1, what do you think?

Testing was good. It was a little bit of a different test this year as we didn’t quite have a full team, so it was more about me riding the bike and getting up to speed.

We worked a little bit on electronics but in terms of chassis stuff, we didn’t really do a massive amount as I didn’t want to chase a circuit-specific set-up at Monteblanco or Jerez. I just wanted to work on the areas I knew we were weak last year and to work on myself and I feel we improved in each of those areas.

Although the timesheets didn’t look amazing, in Monteblanco I didn’t put any tyres in to have a time attack and we were only half a second off from the top of the timesheets which I was pretty happy about.

At the end of the second day in Jerez, we put in a fresh set of tyres but unfortunately, the session got red-flagged due to an accident so the overall timesheet isn’t a great indication on where we ended up in the test.

I can’t wait to get on some UK tracks to see if we improved the areas we needed to, get the full team in and crack on with it.

What are your expectations going into the 2020 season?

Every year is different and everyone on the grid has the same goal at the start of the year.

Last year I started the year strong and unfortunately got hurt straight after the opening round and then hurt again in the middle of the year so the only round I was fully fit was the first round at Silverstone.

This year I just want to take my time, my first target is to get on the podium and then my second target is to win a race and if we can do that, we can work on getting into the showdown and anything after that happens.

You can’t plan too much with our championship as it’s just the three rounds towards the end of the year that count but I want to tick the boxes as we go along, be at the front and ultimately be satisfied with the results we get.

Last year I wasn’t satisfied with what we achieved even though I was injured, I felt like we could have got more out of the package that we had and I think that this year the target has to be to make the most of the bike.
The YZF-R1 is a really competitive bike and we have even more to come than what’s already been shown. I want to maximise everything we have and that will hopefully put us near the front.

Have you got a message for BSB fans?

Stay at home and follow the government guidelines.

The sooner we can all stay at home the sooner we can beat the virus get back racing. If we all start to follow the instructions, be patient and listen to the experts who know what they are talking about, then hopefully normal life will be back before we know it.

Ahead of BSB, it’s only going to build the anticipation more. It was already going to be an exciting year but now it’s going to be even better as it’ll be condensed over a shorter period. The fans are going to get more races in a short space of time, which should be quite the spectacle.