Oulton BSB: Last-lap O’Halloran beats Irwin for pole| Phil Wain at Oulton Park | British Superbikes
Jason O’Halloran claimed pole position for the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race at Oulton Park later this afternoon with the McAMS Yamaha rider putting in a lap of 1’34.257s at the death to deny Championship leader Glenn Irwin the top spot.
The Honda Racing rider, outside the top ten in free practice, looked to have done enough when he put in a 1’34.346s lap with one minute remaining but O’Halloran, chasing his first win of the season, managed to start his last flying lap seconds before the chequered flag went out and he knocked Irwin off the top spot by just 0.089s.
Bradley Ray, who finished on the podium twice here last year, was also well in the mix on the Synetiq BMW and he took third to round out the front row, only 0.038s adrift of Irwin.
The second of the Irwins, Andrew, had hit the top spot with five minutes of the session to go but the late flurry of action meant the double race winner at Donington Park was not only denied pole position but also a front row start as he ended up fourth.
The Rapid Fulfillment Kawasaki duo of Lee Jackson and Danny Buchan joined him on the second row in fifth and sixth, separated by only a thousandth of a second and it was again Christian Iddon who led the Ducati charge in seventh.
Both he and VisionTrack team-mate Josh Brookes had high hopes coming into the meeting so will no doubt be disappointed with seventh and eighth respectively whilst it was the Buildbase Suzuki team-mates Gino Rea and Kyle Ryde who completed the top ten.
Championship runner-up Tommy Bridewell was off the pace on the Oxford Products Racing Ducati in 15th whilst Joe Francis fell from the Lloyd & Jones BMW at Cascades in the final two minutes.