‘We’ve still got some speed in the locker’ – O’Halloran

Picture: Impact Images

McAMS Yamaha’s Jason O’Halloran led every lap of his first race onboard the R1 he will campaign in this year’s Bennetts British Superbike series until he was nerfed off by team-mate Tarran Mackenzie at the penultimate corner of the 30-lap Silverstone season opener.

The Australian, who switched manufacturers after a decade with Honda, is more than comfortable with the bike and was able to do what he needed to line-up a maiden win with the team but said they have more pace in the locker if needed.

“Everything with the bike is on track. I’m not saying anything is easy but in that first race, the pace was comfortable, it was controlled, I knew what laptime I had to do to make it lap 30,” O’Halloran told bikesportnews.com

“Silverstone is a hard place on tyres and I was able to do that. Until I went down, all my laps were within two tenths of each other and to be able to do that, you have to be comfortable, not on the ragged edge.

I still feel like we have got a little bit in the locker. If tyre wear wasn’t so crucial at Silverstone, I think we have got some speed left over and my strategy might change at little at different tracks.”

The R1, as with the M1, relies on corner speed to make its laptime and other riders have struggled to race in a group where riders are much slower mid-corner but have an acceleration advantage.

“One of my worries was that the bike would be more difficult to ride in a group but in the second race I felt good in the pack and I was about to go back past Taz when it stopped. It had enough speed for me to able to make a pass when I needed to.

“That’s a positive thing. I gained confidence over pre-season and even more over the weekend because I did the work in that first race. It’s much easier to follow than to lead and I think that puts us in a good position for the rest of the year.

O’Halloran and Mackenzie have shaken hands over the crash but the Wollongong rider said he was more upset for the team who should have been celebrating with a one-two - and another opportunity for that was removed in race two when his bike spluttered to a halt.

“Obviously, it was a tough pill to swallow in race one but from my point of view, it was more difficult for the team as we should have been all standing there celebrating and there wasn’t much going on even though one of us was on the podium.

“I made a big change at the end of last year, we had a good pre-season and had been building up to that point, and for it to be taken away like that with one corner to go is difficult, but it is what it is.

We have to move on from it, you can’t the result when something like that happens so we will look ahead. I’m disappointed with the situation but I’m happy with how I rode and how we worked together all weekend.

“I can be disappointed in the result but I can’t be disappointed with the performance.

“I don’t know exactly what happened with the bike, I came out of turn one and it lost all power. I guess it was an engine issue. The boys will be on top of that and we will be back out for the test tomorrow in order to work towards the race in a couple of weeks.”

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