Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) took the final British Superbike Championship race of the weekend at Donington Park on Sunday afternoon, in another dramatic encounter with far-reaching consequences for the BSB title fight.
Completing a wild weekend for the leading protagonists, Race 3 would see Glenn Irwin retire at the first corner, BeerMonster Ducati team-mate Tommy Bridewell only manage ninth and Leon Haslam retire from second when his BMW expired in the closing stages.
With second race winner Kyle Ryde down in 12th, it all means Bridewell leads the championship by 7.5pts from Irwin ahead of the final round with Ryde a further 26.5 points adrift. Haslam’s disappointment sees him drop back to fourth but still only 41 points behind Bridewell.
O’Halloran took the lead off the line, but it was a dramatic opening corner as Irwin slowed and pulled off the circuit with a technical issue and Bridewell then ran wide on two successive corners to drop back to fifth at the end of the opening lap behind O’Halloran, LAMI OMG Racing pairing Ryan Vickers and Ryde and Haslam.
Vickers then crashed out at the Old Hairpin and that allowed O’Halloran’s to increase to 3.6s with another second added the following lap and it was now Haslam in second from Christian Iddon (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) and Bridewell as Ryde dropped all the way back to ninth.
After just four laps, O’Halloran’s lead went above five seconds for the first time as Haslam enjoyed a second advantage over third placed Iddon, Bridewell dropping into the clutches of Brookes and Jack Kennedy (Mar-Train Racing Yamaha).
Haslam took a second out of O’Halloran’s lead next time around as the skies started to brighten and by lap eight the gap between the two was 3.4s although Haslam himself was coming under pressure from Iddon who was now the fastest man on track. Further back, Bridewell was still running in fourth but coming under pressure from Josh Brookes (FHO Racing BMW) and, indeed, he ran wide again at the Melbourne Hairpin to drop back to seventh.
At half race distance, O’Halloran had responded to Haslam’s charge and had increased his lead to 4.4s with Iddon a further half second behind whilst Brookes was now up to fourth ahead of Charlie Nesbitt (MasterMac Honda by Hawk Racing) and Storm Stacey (Starline Racing Kawasaki).
Bridewell was continuing to struggle on the brakes on the way into the Melbourne Hairpin and was down to eighth now, just ahead of Peter Hickman on the second FHO machine whilst the good work done by Ryde earlier in the day with his victory was rapidly being undone as he found himself down in 13th.
Back at the front and O’Halloran was maintaining his 4.5s lead over Haslam, the BMW rider set to benefit the most from the woes of Bridewell and Irwin. He’d also pulled away from Iddon to the tune of almost two seconds with Brookes holding station in fourth as were Nesbitt and Stacey in fifth and sixth respectively. The latter was overhauled on lap 15 though by Kennedy.
The championship then took another twist when Haslam’s bike expired in a plume of smoke coming out of Coppice on lap 16 and with the race red flagged, O’Halloran got the win from Iddon and Brookes, the latter back on the podium for the first time since Snetterton in July.
Nesbitt took fourth ahead of Kennedy, Stacey, Hickman and Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki) with Bridewell taking ninth from Davey Todd (Milwaukee BMW
|2023 British Superbike Championship [BSB] | Donington Park GP | Race 3 Results | Round 10 of 11|
|1||Jason O'Halloran||🇦🇺||McAMS||Yamaha R1||15 Laps|
|2||Christian Iddon||🇬🇧||Oxford Racing||Ducati Panigale V4||+6.936|
|3||Josh Brookes||🇦🇺||FHO Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||+10.884|
|4||Charlie Nesbitt||🇬🇧||MasterMac by Hawk||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+13.561|
|5||Jack Kennedy||🇮🇪||Mar-Train Racing||Yamaha R1||+16.183|
|6||Storm Stacey||🇬🇧||Starline Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+16.414|
|7||Peter Hickman||🇬🇧||FHO Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||+16.797|
|8||Lee Jackson||🇬🇧||Cheshire Mouldings FS-3||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+17.368|
|9||Tommy Bridewell||🇬🇧||BeerMonster PBM||Ducati Panigale V4||+17.862|
|10||Davey Todd||🇬🇧||SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad||BMW M 1000 RR||+19.937|
|11||Luke Mossey||🇬🇧||Tactix L1 Racing||BMW M 1000 RR||+20.220|
|12||Kyle Ryde||🇬🇧||LAMI OMG Racing||Yamaha R1||+27.839|
|13||Niccolo Canepa||🇮🇹||McAMS||Yamaha R1||+31.576|
|14||Franco Bourne||🇬🇧||Marvel HCL Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R (P)||+42.946|
|15||Tom Neave||🇬🇧||Honda Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R||+47.985|
|16||Jack Scott||🇬🇧||Rapid CDH Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+48.300|
|17||Brayden Elliott||🇦🇺||DAO Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+1m 00.927|
|18||Max Cook||🇬🇧||Cheshire Mouldings FS-3||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+1m 03.361|
|19||Bradley Perie||🇬🇧||VisionTrack Racng||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+1m 04.861|
|20||Lewis Valleley||🇬🇧||Rapid CDH Racing||Kawasaki ZX-10RR||+1m 09.041|
|DNF||Andrew Irwin||🇬🇧||Honda Racing||Honda CBR1000RR-R|
|DNF||Alex Olsen||🇬🇧||Cumins by Team IWR||Honda CBR1000RR-R (P)|
|DNF||Michael Dunlop||🇬🇧||Crendon by Hawk||Honda CBR1000RR-R|
|DNF||Ryan Vickers||🇬🇧||LAMI OMG Racing||Yamaha R1|
|DNF||Glenn Irwin||🇬🇧||BeerMonster PBM||Ducati Panigale V4|
|DNF||Leon Haslam||🇬🇧||ROKiT BMW Motorrad||BMW M 1000 RR|