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Snetterton BSB test: Honda’s O’Halloran tops the times

Jason O’Halloran lifted what must be dark cloud hanging over the Honda Racing factory by topping the MCE British Superbike test times, fending off a late challenge from Glenn Irwin to take the laurels by just 0.095s.

O’Halloran has sorted out the early season problems he experienced with the new ride-by-wire throttle system and today focused on chassis setup, trying a new linkage and also tyre life with both hard and soft-compound Pirellis - setting a best 1’48.297.

“At the start of the year, I spent a lot of time getting the feeling right and I am starting to enjoy riding the bike again now, which we showed with the podium at Oulton Park,” O’Halloran told bikesportnews.com at the track.


“We went to Knockhill and did 90 laps in the rain and at the start of the year I wouldn’t have done one lap in the rain. Paul and the guys have done a great job and I think the laptime today was quicker than my pole time from last year.

“To do that with the wind here today is pretty good. The new linkage is a really good step and previously we have struggled for grip on the hard tyre but we have done a very close lap on it today which we’ve never been able to do before.”

Be Wiser Ducati’s Irwin put in a best of 1’48.392 with RAF Reserves Kawasaki’s Jake Dixon in third and clearly benefitting from the track time he had at Donington Park as a WorldSBK wildcard.

Reigning champion Shane Byrne was fourth on a 1’48.649 and three-tenths off the pace with Jakub Smrz - always fast at the Norfolk track - in fifth. Moto Rapido Ducati’s John Hopkins set the pace in the middle session of three and ended the day in sixth but 1.2s behind O’Halloran.

Luke Mossey had to give Leon Haslam his bike for five laps in session two after the series leader’s engine gave up the ghost in the garage and he ended the day in seventh, one in front of O’Halloran’s team-mate Dan Linfoot.

Billy McConnell, James Westmoreland, Tommy Bridewell and Haslam completed the Superbike runners.

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