Jason O’Halloran was the dominant force in Friday’s FP2 action at Thruxton as the McAMS Yamaha’s controlled the standings with a 1’14.723 lap.
Rich Energy OMG’s Brad Ray continued his impressive showing at the Hampshire circuit in second, while FHO Racing’s Peter Hickman completed the top three, the rapid trio less than a tenth apart after 40-minutes on track.
Having lost out by the tiniest of margins to his McAMS teammate in FP1, O’Halloran was back in charge in the late afternoon session with a 1’15.231 lap. The Australian headed Buildbase Suzuki’s Danny Kent by 0.079s, with Mackenzie maintaining third thanks to his earlier effort.
Hickman continued to climb the times as he circulated with a 1’15.6 best, iForce new recruit Luke Mossey, MCE Ducati’s Tom Sykes and Kyle Ryde all within a tenth of the BMW rider in the closely fought top seven with the second OMG Yamaha of Brad Ray sitting eighth, half a second from the overall target.
Suzuki’s Christian Iddon and Oxford Products Ducati’s Tommy Bridewell rounded out the top ten by the halfway stage of FP2 with FS-3 Kawasaki’s Lee Jackson and Honda’s Ryo Mizuno just adrift but inside the all-important Superpicks 12. VisionTrack’s Leon Haslam the first outside of the promotion zone on 1’16.099 pace with 20 minutes left on the clock.
With the majority of the pack in the pits there was little change to the standings until Ray arrived at the top in the final five minutes. 1’15.126 was the target to beat for the briefest duration before O’Halloran bettered with a 1’14.893 to command again. The closing action saw a flurry of activity as Hickman, Mackenzie and Glenn Irwin joined the fight. Second and third were split by a mere 0.001s before the reigning champion had his time deleted for the second time in quick succession and Sykes took over in third, with the Honda rider placing fifth.
Improvements for Ryan Vickers found the FHO rider in eighth before late movements as the chequered flag came out dropped him to tenth. Ray returned to the runners up spot, 0.072s from O’Halloran, with Hickman, Sykes, Irwin and OMG teammate Ryde rounding out the fastest six while Kent, Jackson, Bridewell, Vickers, Mackenzie and Haslam claimed the promotion places on offer.