AUSSIE Jason O’Halloran has admitted he is keen to bag pole position tomorrow in his first weekend with the McAMS squad.
The factory Yamaha rider controlled the action today after dominating second practice and lapping over three tenths under the National circuit lap record, leading team-mate Tarran Mackenzie in a McAMS one-two.
O’Halloran, who has been winless since a lone victory at Snetterton way back in 2016 with the Honda Racing squad, has his sights set firmly on the front row as he continues to build confidence with his new crew.
And while he feels the lead today has been building all through the off-season, he wants to add to the building blocks that have made up a strong start to the year.
“Today’s been good, not only because we topped the times but because we did a long run in FP2 which was really consistent, and I feel comfortable and confident on the bike,” he told Bikesport News.
“It’s a snowball effect, all throughout the season I’ve been on top and we came here last week and I was on top. I’ve only worked with them for about five or six days and although I’ve known them all for longer, us working together has been a short time so we’re still learning how to do things.
“I’d love a pole position on the bike for the first time qualifying on it. But at the end of the day if we can get on the front row and put ourselves in a good position for Sunday, I think we have a good shot at it.”
The day one leader also admitted that even though he’s had a dry spell of almost four years, he’s more laid back than he’s ever been in the new camp.
And although he may have his eyes on Sunday’s prize, he knows it’s the three-round Showdown at the end of the season that counts.
“I don’t feel any pressure at the minute. I feel more relaxed than I’ve been in a long time because I’m more confident in what I can do on the bike.
To be honest, if I can win on Sunday – amazing. If I come third, fantastic. If I come fifth, it is what it is.
“My mind says I absolutely want to win, that’s what I want to do, but it’s a long season and there’s 12 rounds, we’ve got a long way to go yet.
“And for me it’s about building the feeling, building the confidence and working towards the last three rounds. We’ve got a long time to go before then, but if I can get a win this weekend it’d be an amazing start.”