In-form Jason O’Halloran claimed pole position for the opening Brands Bennetts British Superbike Championship race this afternoon just ahead of McAMS Yamaha team-mate Tarran Mackenzie and championship leader Bradley Ray (Rich OMG Racing Yamaha).
Kyle Ryde, Danny Kent, Andrew Irwin, Tom Sykes, Chrissy Rouse and Christian Iddon all progressed from Q1, Ryde with a strong lap of 1’25.312s, but it would take more than that to claim pole position in Q2 although on the first flying lap no one did although Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) did match it.
However, next time around, Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Ducati) bettered it with a 1’25.236s to go quickest although he was quickly pushed back to second by Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki). Their supremacy didn’t last long as Ryde became the first rider to drop into the 1’24’s with a 1’24.990s.
Within a few seconds though, O’Halloran smashed that with, at the time, the quickest ever lap around the 2.433-mile GP circuit, 1’24.656s. and, just like FP3 earlier in the day, it soon became a McAMS Yamaha 1-2 with Mackenzie getting within 0.070s of his Australian team-mate.
Ray was also in the 1’24’s, edging ahead of team-mate Ryde, but Mackenzie was on a flyer and was three tenths of a second up on his next flying lap. He lost a bit of time in traffic but a 1’24.645s was good enough for him to take over at the top of the leaderboard albeit just 0.011s.
Bridewell became the fifth rider to lap in the 1’24’s and slotted into fourth, splitting the two Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha’s of Ray and Ryde, whilst Josh Brookes (MCE Ducati) was going well in sixth.
It looked like reigning champion Mackenzie had done enough to take the top spot but O’Halloran had other ideas and in the closing moments, put in a stunning lap of 1’24.433s to reclaim the top spot.
Ray had to settle for third, almost half a second adrift, with Bridewell, Ryde and Brookes completing the top six. Rory Skinner (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) recovered from an excursion into the gravel to take seventh with an impressive Ryan Vickers, Leon Haslam and Jackson rounding out the top ten.