Jason O’Halloran’s time with the McAMS Yamaha team ended at Brands Hatch with more of the ups and downs that served to sum up the title-winning team's 2023 British Superbike Championship as a whole.
Pole position in qualifying and a podium in Saturday’s Sprint race, held in mixed conditions proved he highlight as he finished just 0.015s behind race winner and fellow Yamaha rider Kyle Ryde, ensuring he remained in the title fight on the final day of the season.
“It’s always a difficult race in mixed conditions like that but I made a great start and got to the front, and when Kyle came by, I was able to use him as a bit of a marker which made things a bit easier.,” he explained.
“I got back passed Kyle on the last lap but didn’t quite hold the line and he got back through at the bottom of Paddock Hill. I knew I was a bit quicker around the back of the track, so I knew I was going to have a chance on the run to the line, but we just missed out.”
It would prove to be the final BSB podium for Rodgers’ highly experienced and successful team as Sunday’s races ended on something of a whimper when a race two crash – caused by a cold tyre after a safety car period when running in second – was followed by seventh in the last race to leave him sixth overall in the final championship standings.
“After Saturday’s race I was confident we could have a strong end to the season as I felt really good in the dry and lining up pole gave us a chance.
"We got a good start to the first race, and I was feeling really strong, but when the safety car came out I think the tyres just cooled that little bit too much and as I tipped in to Surtees the front went so early and without warning.”
“It was a huge shame as I was biding my time and we saw that some of our rivals on the harder tyre were struggling even towards the end, which would have played into our hands.
"Unfortunately, following the crash the brakes just didn’t feel quite right in the final race, and a few other things meant we couldn’t challenge like we had in the first two races.”
“It’s a shame to end this way, but I think together with the team we can look back on what we’ve achieved with great pride. We’ve had an incredible journey over the last five years, and I wish everyone all the success in their next steps.
"A huge thanks to Steve Rodgers, Wendy, Tina and all the other people who made this happen.”