Phil Wain at Brands Hatch |
Image: Impact Pictures
In-form Jason O’Halloran took pole position for the opening race of the British Brands Bennetts Superbike Championship this afternoon, just ahead of McAMS Yamaha teammate Tarran Mackenzie and championship leader Bradley Ray (Rich OMG Racing Yamaha ).
Kyle Ryde, Danny Kent, Andrew Irwin, Tom Sykes, Chrissy Rouse and Christian Iddon have all progressed since Q1, Ryde with a solid lap of 1’25.312s, but it would take more than that to claim pole position in Q2 although on the first flying lap nobody did it although Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) equaled it.
However, the next time Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Ducati) bettered it with a 1’25.236s to go fastest although he was quickly pushed back to second place by Lee Jackson (Cheshire Moldings FS-3 Kawasaki ). Their supremacy didn’t last long as Ryde became the first runner to break into the 1’24s with a 1’24.990.
Within seconds however, O’Halloran pulverized that with, at the time, the fastest lap ever on the 2.433 mile GP circuit, in 1’24.656s. and, much like FP3 earlier in the day, quickly became a 1-2 McAMS Yamaha with Mackenzie within 0.070 of his Australian teammate.
Ray was also within 1’24, ahead of teammate Ryde, but Mackenzie was on a flyer and was three tenths of a second ahead on his next flying lap. He lost some time in traffic but a time of 1’24.645 was enough to take the lead in the standings, albeit in just 0.011s.
Bridewell became the fifth rider to lap 1:24 and placed fourth, separating the two Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamahas of Ray and Ryde, while Josh Brookes (MCE Ducati) did well in sixth.
It looked like defending champion Mackenzie had done enough to take first place, but O’Halloran had other ideas and in the dying moments he clocked a mind-blowing 1’24.433 lap to reclaim top spot.
Ray had to settle for third place, nearly half a second behind, with Bridewell, Ryde and Brookes rounding out the top six. Rory Skinner (Cheshire Moldings FS-3 Kawasaki) recovered from a gravel excursion to take seventh place with an impressive Ryan Vickers, Leon Haslam and Jackson rounding out the top ten.
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