Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran has not been part of an MCE British Superbike qualifying session for a long time, after being out with injury after a crash at Thruxton last year. But now the Australian is back fighting fit, and is feeling comfortable and confident out on his Fireblade, and it showed during qualifying at Silverstone today.
O’Halloran admitted that he was a tad ‘stressed’ before the start of Q1, but he soon found his form and was able to make it all the way into the final qualifying session, to challenge for pole. But he was just pipped to the post by eventual pole-setter, JG Speedfit Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam.
The Honda racer was only 0.06s off the best lap set by Haslam and a respectable 2’05.562 means he will start race-one tomorrow from second on the grid. He was surprised with just how quickly he found the pace to be competitive and is feeling excited ahead of the two fourteen-lap races on Sunday.
“It is my first qualifying session for quite a while, and I was a little bit stressed at the start especially with the conditions. With the Honda this year the boys have done a great job,” said O’Halloran, speaking at the circuit.
“I am a lot more comfortable on the bike, especially after having a long period off the bike with an injury, and to come back and feel comfortable and have the speed that I have got so early in the season - I surprised myself a bit. We have something to build on and I am feeling confident for tomorrow, but I am sure other riders will be strong too.
“We have two fourteen lap races tomorrow and I am looking forward to having two races under my belt. My fitness is really good and I spent the last seven months mainly doing physio and rehab to get the muscles in my body moving again.
“I was so stiff and sore with my wrist and my hand, and I spent hours trying to get it right. I feel relaxed this year, and obviously if we can have two good races tomorrow, I can keep a smile on my face.”