Jason O’Halloran made it a Bennetts British Superbike Championship double at Knockhill on Sunday when the McAMS Yamaha rider defeated Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Yamaha) by a second to cut the gap in the points to just 16.
Lee Jackson took third for Cheshire Mouldings by FS-3 Kawasaki which went some way to make up for the disappointment of losing Rory Skinner who crashed out of the lead on lap five.
Skinner grabbed the holeshot from O’Halloran and that was the order as they crossed the line at the end of the first lap closely followed by Ray, Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing), Jackson and Josh Brookes (MCE Ducati) with Skinner stretching his lead to 0.6s next time around.
The front three had pulled almost a second gap over Irwin by lap three and at the start of lap four, Ray nipped up the inside of O’Halloran at turn three which allowed Skinner to extend his lead to three quarters of a second.
However, the leader’s race didn’t last much longer with Skinner crashing out at Clark a lap later and that put Ray in front from O’Halloran with Irwin nine tenths further back in third. He had a whole train of bikes behind him including Jackson, Brookes, Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Ducati), Danny Buchan (Synetiq BMW) and Ray’s teammate Kyle Ryde.
By lap eight, Ray had a half second lead over O’Halloran and Irwin was now a further 1.5s adrift in third with Brookes now up to fourth having dived up the inside of Jackson at the hairpin. Bridewell was no sixth and the quartet were dropping Ryde and Buchan.
Lap 11 saw Brookes move up to an encouraging third although the leaders were some two seconds down the road but the Australian then had a moment at the chicane a lap later which dropped him back to fifth behind Jackson and Irwin.
Ray and O’Halloran continued to pull away from the six-rider battle for third with Mackenzie in no-man’s land in ninth before another big battle, this time for tenth, which was headed by Tom Sykes on the second MCE Ducati.
As the race entered its second half, there was still only a quarter of a second between Ray and O’Halloran and whilst Jackson was still in third, he’d pulled away from the big group behind which was now headed by Brookes who quickly regrouped after his earlier moment. Indeed, by lap 22 the Ducati man was less than half a second behind Jackson,
O’Halloran continued to shadow Ray at the front, bringing the gap down to 0.192s with six laps to go, and he made his move at the hairpin on lap 25 promptly opening up a slight gap over his Yamaha rival.
He wasn’t to be denied the win either and duly took his second win of the day by a second with Jackson holding off a late charge from Buchan to take third. Bridewell claimed fifth ahead of Irwin, Brookes, Tarran Mackenzie on the second McAMS Yamaha, Ryde and Sykes.