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Donington BSB: O’Halloran crowned ‘King’ with double victory

Jason O’Halloran completed a Bennetts British Superbike Championship double at Donington Park on Sunday as he came home almost two seconds clear of Bradley Ray (RICH Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) to cut the gap to the championship leader to 28 points. Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) took third place once more.

Kyle Ryde led off the line and into Redgate corner on the second OMG machine, holding on all the way to the end of the lap where he was followed across the line by teammate Ray, Jackson and his teammate Rory Skinner, Peter Hickman (FHO BMW) and Leon Haslam (VisionTrack Kawasaki). Sunday’s first race winner O’Halloran was in seventh,
Skinner overhauled both Jackson and Ray second time around to move up to second and the front four had opened up a gap of almost a second over the chasing pack which was now headed by O’Halloran. Haslam had dropped to eighth after running wide at the chicane.
Ray hit the front on lap three with Ryde now in second from Skinner and Jackson and O’Halloran had quickly bridged the gap to make it a five-way fight at the head of the field. Hickman was now in sixth albeit a second adrift of O’Halloran.
Lap six saw the safety car deployed after Haslam highsided spectacularly at Schwantz Curve leaving Honda’s Glenn Irwin nowhere to go. Haslam’s Kawasaki was destroyed in the high-speed spill with the crash also seeing Hickman drop back to 22nd and retire shortly afterwards.
Racing resumed on lap ten with the pack bunched together once more but normal service was soon resumed with Ray more than a second clear a lap later. O’Halloran moved by Skinner at the chicane to take second with Ryde, Jackson and Christian Iddon (Buildbase Suzuki) close behind.
By lap 15, O’Halloran had brought the gap down to half a second with Skinner almost a second back in third and he had Ryde crawling all over him, Jackson and Iddon still running in fifth and sixth. Behind them, a battle was raging for seventh between Tommy Bridewell, Tarran Mackenzie and the MCE Ducati pairing of Josh Brookes and Tom Sykes.
A change in the lead came on the 17th lap as O’Halloran squeezed by at Coppice whilst there was also a change for third with both Ryde and Jackson overhauling Skinner. Iddon was still in touch and they were well clear of seventh which was now held by Brookes.
Ray was sticking with O’Halloran and the gap between them was still only two tenths of a second as they went into the final five laps whilst Jackson was now into third. Bridewell’s weekend ended on a low note though as he retired the Oxford Product Ducati with two laps to go.
O’Halloran had everything covered at the front and duly took his second win of the day, and the ‘King of Donington’ award in the process, by almost two seconds from Ray - who picked up the Milwaukee Grand Slam - with Jackson taking his second podium of the day in third. Skinner got Ryde on the final lap to take fourth with Iddon completing a solid weekend in sixth.
Sykes came out on top of the MCE Ducati battle to take seventh, his best result of the season, with Brookes, Danny Buchan (Synetiq BMW) and Chrissy Rouse (Crowe Performance) completing the top ten as reigning champion Mackenzie finished his first weekend back in 11th.

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