McAMS Yamaha’s Jason O’Halloran topped the opening Bennetts British Superbike free practice at Brands Hatch this afternoon, putting in a 1’26.255s lap to open a one-tenth advantage over Knockhill double-winner Danny Buchan while reigning champion Josh Brookes finished in 12th
Brookes’ team boss Paul Bird revealed the Australian has been riding injured. He didn’t go into specifics, but said: ‘These boys ride motocross all the time, so you expect it to happen’. The VisionTrack Ducati man ended 1.3s off the pace after running off track at Clark.
O’Halloran had been climbing the order throughout the session, moving inside the top ten at the midway point and was then into third ahead of the final ten minutes. However, his final run saw the Australian improve again and he moved into the leading position in the closing moments.
The McAMS Yamaha rider’s improvement meant that Buchan was eased back into second place following a strong start to his weekend with the SYNETIQ BMW team as he carried his pace from Knockhill into round three.
Tarran Mackenzie meanwhile was leading the session in the final ten minutes, however the session ended in the gravel at Westfield for the second McAMS Yamaha rider. He was unhurt and ended the opening SUPERPICKS practice 0.233s adrift of his teammate.
Christian Iddon led the VisionTrack Ducati charge in fourth place, just ahead of Peter Hickman on the FHO Racing BMW.
Tommy Bridewell had been inside the top three earlier in the session for the Oxford Products Racing Ducati team, but he dropped to sixth in the closing stages just ahead of Lee Jackson and Bradley Ray.