Oulton BSB: Yamaha’s O’Halloran claims second-ever win

| | British Superbikes
Picture: Impact Images

After some near misses at the first few rounds, Jason O’Halloran finally got the win he deserved in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship with the McAMS Yamaha rider taking the opening race victory at Oulton Park from Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) and Danny Buchan (Rapid Fulfillment Kawasaki).

It was Championship leader Glenn Irwin who grabbed the holeshot from brother Andrew and O’Halloran but the Australian moved up to second at the end of the lap, overhauling Andrew Irwin at Lodge – but Kyle Ryde was already out having crashed at Shell Oils.

O’Halloran moved into the lead second time around with Iddon pushing Andrew Irwin back to fourth before also getting by Glenn Irwin as he moved up into second from his seventh place start position.

Lap four saw the Championship leader lose another place as brother Andrew pushed him back to fourth but it was Iddon who was making the main moves and he slipped inside O’Halloran at Lodge at the end of lap five to take the lead for the first time.

It remained close though and at half race distance, there was still only one second covering the top six, the running order Iddon, Andrew Irwin, O’Halloran, Glenn Irwin, Buchan and Bradley Ray.

Meanwhile, Josh Brookes and Tommy Bridewell, running joint second in the Championship, were running in seventh and 14th respectively whilst ninth placed Luke Mossey dropped back after overshooting Hizzy’s.

Back at the front and Iddon continued to lead by a tenth of a second but the two Irwin’s and O’Halloran were continually swapping places and with four laps to go, there was still only a second covering the top six.

Lap 13 saw Iddon and O’Halloran edge away slightly and Glenn Irwin recognised that, moving past Andrew for third; however, the move pushed both of them wide and that allowed Buchan to jump up to third whilst O’Halloran grabbed the lead a lap later.

Going into the penultimate lap, the win looked like it would come from one of O’Halloran, Iddon and Buchan with the Ducati man setting the fastest lap of the race at 1’34.978s.

However, it wasn’t enough and O’Halloran went quicker still on the final lap with a 1’34.704s giving him a 0.358s advantage as he took the chequered flag from Iddon and Buchan. The win, just his second in his BSB career, also saw him move up to second in the Championship and reduce Glenn Irwin’s lead to 30 points.

A last lap sort out saw Andrew Irwin come through to fourth with Glenn Irwin dropping back to fifth ahead of Lee Jackson on the second Rapid Fulfillment Kawasaki, Ray, Brookes, Tarran Mackenzie and Gino Rea. Peter Hickman slipped back from 10th to 12th on the final lap with Bridewell crossing the line in a disappointing 14th.