Eazi Grip

McAMS Yamaha do the treble at Thruxton


Jason O’Halloran leads the way

The McAMS Yamaha team got off to a flying start as the sixth round of the 2022 Bennetts British Superbike Championship got underway at Thruxton with Jason O’Halloran leading the way at the end of the opening day.

The British heatwave had the Hampshire circuit scorching with a track temperature of 44 degrees for FP1, but it didn’t slow the McAMS Yamaha duo in the opening session as they started the weekend exactly where they ended Brands Hatch, 1-2 on the timesheets with Mackenzie leading O’Halloran by just 0.003 seconds.

It wasn’t all plain sailing though, as series leader O’Halloran slipped off at Cambpell in the closing stages. Fortunately the Aussie was OK and his R1 was relatively unscathed thanks to GB Racing’s excellent crash protection.

Track temp was down slightly for FP2 and that showed with times tumbling instantly as O’Halloran took control early in the session. He relinquished the top spot momentarily at the end, but a rapid 1’14.723 saw him top the times from fellow Yamaha rider Bradley Ray.

Mackenzie rounded out the day 11th quickest, but this was not a true reflection of his pace. Over-shooting the chicane on his penultimate lap, the reigning champion had both that lap time and the following lap deleted. The subsequent cancelled lap was a 1’14.888 which would have placed him fourth on the timesheet. Fortunately his 11th place still secures him direct passage to Q2.

It was a strong return to action for Tim Neave on the Edwards 1902 R1 in the National Superstock class. He rounded out the opening day just 0.8 seconds off the top in 15th overall in just his second time on a bike since the start of June. With track time and building bike fitness the aim, the team consider this an excellent opening day.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Thruxton, SUPERPICKS Combined Free Practice times:

  1. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 1m:14.723s
  2. Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.072s
  3. Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +0.164s
  4. Tom Sykes (MCE Ducati) +0.276s
  5. Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) +0.421s
  6. Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.455s
  7. Danny Kent (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.587s
  8. Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) +0.615s
  9. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +0.619s
  10. Ryan Vickers (FHO Racing BMW with Attis Sports) +0.710s
  11. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +0.766

Jason O’Halloran   
Pos: 1st       Time: 1’14.723
“Today was a really good day. This morning we stayed on one set of tyres and had a really good rhythm and felt strong straight away. I had a bit of a slip off at the end of the session, losing the front in hot conditions but it’s my first crash of the year so it’s good to get that one out of the way. The bike wasn’t too bad which was good as well, and then this afternoon we tried something different to see if we could find something extra. It’s hard to say whether it was better or worse, so we’ll try something else in the morning and choose out of the settings we’ve been working on. Overall our speed is there we’ve got good pace on new and used tyres and feeling strong for tomorrow.”

Tarran Mackenzie
Pos: 11th    Time: 1’15.489
“I’m happy with the progress we’ve made today. I’ve always felt good here but I’ve never been this strong on a Friday here before so it’s a good start to the weekend. I felt good on the bike, we didn’t change it a lot as it felt good from FP1. We want to try a few things tomorrow morning but overall I’m happy, our race pace seems good and our one lap pace was good – I was a bit unlucky to get my best time cancelled but we made it through to Q2 anyway so there’s no drama there and I’m looking forward to getting racing.”

Tim Neave
Edwards 1902 Superstock
Pos: 15th      Time: 1’17.658

“To be honest, I’m really happy with how I’m feeling on the bike, physically I feel absolutely fine, this is a great circuit to have come back at. To only be 0.8 seconds off is good, of course I want it to be better but I’m quite relaxed as I know that the biggest improvement can come from myself, this place is quite unique, it’s fast and it needs big balls, and after a couple of months off I think I need to grow a new set!!”

Steve Rodgers
Team Principal
“Today was a really good day, both Jason and Tarran were quick on new and used tyres and things are looking promising for tomorrow. It was a shame Tarran lost his lap time but at least he’s still in Q2 so that’s all good. It’s great to have Tim back, we aren’t too fussed about position as we just want him to get comfortable on the bike and build up the strength you can only achieve from riding a bike so overall, we’re pretty pleased.”


The O’Show strikes again with Tarran Mackenzie second

Jason O’Halloran further extended McAMS Yamaha’s winning streak with a stunning victory in the opening race at Thruxton with team-mate Tarran Mackenzie making it a fourth 1-2 in a row, stealing second place at the line.

O’Halloran’s win was his fourth in as many races at the Hampshire track, and takes McAMS Yamaha’s unbeaten streak to five races. The Aussie himself has finished no lower than second in the last ten races, winning six of them. Mackenzie’s rostrum is his fourth in a row.

Again, Thruxton was basking in blistering sunshine but it didn’t halt the McAMS Yamaha duo, who first had to contend with qualifying. Despite the high temperatures, O’Halloran set a super-fast 1’13.942 to become just the second rider in history to lap Thruxton in less than 1’14. Mackenzie was happy to qualify on the second row in sixth, knowing he had strong pace for the afternoon’s 15 lap race.

As the race got underway, O’Halloran saw off some early attempts from Glenn Irwin to lead the way, but it was fellow Yamaha rider Bradley Ray and team-mate Mackenzie on the charge. The Yamaha trio were inseparable in the final third of the race, but neither Ray nor Mackenzie could show O’Halloran a wheel.

As Mackenzie came past Ray for second, a battle would ensue giving O’Halloran the breathing space he needed in the final laps. Mackenzie had lost out on second on the run into Club Chicane but the determined champion fought on, opening the gas to outdrag his rival to the line to finish second by 0.003 seconds.

O’Halloran now leads the standings by 19 points with Mackenzie further consolidating his position in the showdown. O’Halloran holds an 11 point lead in the podium points table with Tarran now moving to joint third in the all-important table. Mackenzie will start Sunday’s second race from second and O’Halloran third.

Tim Neave’s return to racing got off to a false start in the National Superstock category as he was forced to retire from the race on the opening lap with a technical problem. The former series leader had been showing strong, and was feeling good for the race having qualified ninth. He’ll start Sunday’s race from 15th on the grid.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Thruxton, eBay Sprint Race result:

  1. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha)
  2. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +0.939s
  3. Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.942s
  4. Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) +3.545s
  5. Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +4.081s
  6. Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +6.185s
  7. Rory Skinner (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +7.203s
  8. Leon Haslam (VisionTrack Kawasaki) +9.385s
  9. Tom Sykes (MCE Ducati) +9.616s
  10. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +11.438s

Jason O’Halloran   
Qualifying: 1st 
Race 1: 1st
Championship: 1st (290 points)            

“Today started well in qualifying with a really fast lap in the conditions and then the race was the first real long run we’ve done and I led pretty much every lap. I didn’t know how fast to go, I picked a pace I was happy with that I thought would get me to the end first and it did. I think there’s a few things we can change for tomorrow as we’ve got some good data from today, we aren’t a million miles away but some small tweaks may improve things. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, we’ll start from the front row again so we’ll see what we can do!”

Tarran Mackenzie
Qualifying: 6th 
Race 1: 2nd 
Championship: 8th (125 points)

“It’s great for the team to have another 1-2, we couldn’t ask for much more! I felt really good in the race, I got a bit knocked back a bit at the start and got held up by a few people but whenever I got knocked back I could fight through and catch the boys in front. It gave me a lot of confidence, I’ve never challenged for a win here, I’ve only challenged for a podium and last year we were quite far off the win so we’ve made a massive step forward and the pace is faster than ever. I think this puts us in good stead for tomorrow, I start a bit further up in second on the grid so we’ll see what we can do. I enjoyed the battle with Brad, it’s nice when you can out drag someone to the line, it was funny – we were having a good laugh after the flag.”

Tim Neave
Edwards 1902 Superstock
Qualifying: 9th    Race 1: DNF

“I’m absolutely gutted to have had to retire today, I’ve been feeling really good all weekend and I was really looking forward to getting stuck into the race, every time I’ve ridden this weekend I’ve improved and starting ninth I had really high hopes for the race but it wasn’t meant to be. These things happen in racing, it’s a shame as scoring decent points today would have been good for the championship but we can have another go tomorrow.”

Steve Rodgers
Team Principal
“Another stunning performance from both Jason and Tarran today. Jason, what can we say? He’s mastered Thruxton on the R1, looks so smooth and comfortable out there and the fact he led every lap speaks wonders – it’s not easy to do that here! He’s on a great run at the minute and is probably in the form of his career, it’s great to see. That was a really encouraging ride from Tarran too, he’s never fought for the win here so to be so close including a battle with Brad is promising. I think tomorrow could be quite exciting! It was a shame to see Tim retire from the Superstock race. I think he had a good result in him today so it was a shame.”


McAMS Yamaha continue their winning streak to eight races

McAMS Yamaha continued their Bennetts British Superbike domination with two further victories at Thruxton on Sunday, extending their unbeaten streak to eight races as Jason O’Halloran and Tarran Mackenzie took another win apiece in two thrilling races.

After their fourth consecutive 1-2 on Saturday, the duo went in to Race 2 as favourites but expected a strong challenge from OMG’s Bradley Ray once again. Series leader O’Halloran took the lead from the start and led for most of the race, until an almighty battle in the closing stages saw the Aussie, Mackenzie and Ray scrapping it out for the honours. It would all come down to the final lap, when the trio entered the Club Chicane three abreast. O’Halloran managed to drag it to the line to take the win from his team-mate by 0.079 seconds with Ray third.

Again starting second (Mackenzie) and third (O’Halloran) for the final race of the weekend, this time it was the reigning champion who took the lead. O’Halloran was initially knocked back to fourth, but fought back to third quickly where he sat comfortably as the leading trio tried to conserve their tyres.

Mackenzie continued to lead the way, but O’Halloran wanted to try and get to the front on Lap 14, first passing Ray with a brave move at Club before repeating it on his team-mate aa lap later, but he couldn’t keep hold of the lead. The duo again fought it out, pushing hard in the final stages. A moment for O’Halloran on the final lap saw him just lose touch of Mackenzie and Ray, with Mackenzie securing the win with a stunning move at Church and holding off Ray at the final chicane. O’Halloran crossed the line third.

O’Halloran now leads the championship by 24 points over Bradley Ray with a 13 point lead in the crucial podium points table. The Aussie has also now confirmed his position in the title fighters’ showdown. Mackenzie moves up to seventh, further consolidating his position in the showdown but now sits third in the podium points behind his team-mate and Bradley Ray. McAMS Yamaha now lead the teams championship after six consecutive double rostrums with Yamaha now holding a commanding 160 point lead in the manufacturers table.

Tim Neave rounded out his first weekend back in the National Superstock championship with an eleventh placed finish in the second race.

The championship resumes in two weeks’ time for the ‘Party in the Park’ at Lincolnshire’s Cadwell Park.

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Thruxton, Race 2 result:

  1. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha)
  2. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +0.079s
  3. Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.165s
  4. Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +7.181s
  5. Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) +11.410s
  6. Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) +11.970s
  7. Rory Skinner (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) +12.286s
  8. Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) +13.872s
  9. Leon Haslam (VisionTrack Kawasaki) +15.081s
  10. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +15.390s

Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Thruxton, Race 3 result:

  1. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha)
  2. Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.019s
  3. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +0.293s
  4. Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) +10.573s
  5. Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) +11.846s
  6. Leon Haslam (VisionTrack Kawasaki) +11.900s
  7. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +12.018s
  8. Andrew Irwin (SYNETIQ BMW) +12.156s
  9. Rory Skinner (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) +12.232s
  10. Tom Sykes (MCE Ducati) +16.767s

Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Thruxton:

  1. Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 331 – SHOWDOWN CONFIRMED 
  2. Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) 307 – SHOWDOWN CONFIRMED
  3. Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) 219
  4. Rory Skinner (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) 199
  5. Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) 192
  6. Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) 173
  7. Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 170
  8. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 158

Jason O’Halloran   
Race 1: 1st
Race 2: 1st
Race 2: 3rd
Championship: 1st (331 points)            

“We won two races this weekend and took a third, the fastest lap of the weekend and felt really comfortable in all of the races. I managed the first two races quite well and in the last race I got a worse start so it changed the strategy, I sat behind Taz and Brad for as long as I could and then I probably went to the front one lap too early thinking I had more tyre than I did. Maybe I pushed too much too soon and cooked the tyre a bit, but they were very enjoyable races. I love racing here, it’s more like a cycling race than a tyre race as you’re conserving the tyres and thinking about strategy. It would have been easier if there was two of us, as when there’s three it makes the strategy a bit more tricky but I’ve now had 12 podiums on the bounce and I’m really enjoying it at the minute and looking forward to Cadwell Park.”

Tarran Mackenzie
Race 1: 2nd
Race 2: 2nd
Race 2: 1st
Championship: 7th (170 points) 

“I’m really happy, that was a good way to end the weekend! I’ve had six podiums in a row now and we’ve been strong all weekend. I felt like I had a chance to win yesterday and that gave me some good confidence for the races. I felt great in all of the races, unfortunately I just got out-dragged in race two but we managed to get the job done in race three! I felt strong and led a lot of laps which is important for me as I made a big step forward in my riding and figured some stuff out during the weekend which was perfect. To win after leading for a lot of laps and then having a last lap scrap was fun, it was a bit of a ballsy move into Church. I’m over the moon for the team, we’ve had six double podiums in a row now and I’m looking forward to carrying that momentum.”

Tim Neave
Edwards 1902 Superstock
Race 1: DNF      Race 2: 11th
Championship: 6th (110 points)

“It’s been nice to be back this weekend but I can’t not be a bit disappointed with how things turned out. After qualifying ninth I was well up for it, I knew I could go quicker and I think without the technical problem in yesterday’s race we could have had a decent result. Today didn’t go to plan either, we didn’t have another tyre for the restart and that meant I couldn’t push as hard as I wanted in the eight laps. Still, it’s nice to be back on the bike and get some bike time, Cadwell is my home round and I felt really strong on the bike there earlier this week so I can’t wait to get back out.”

Steve Rodgers
Team Principal
“What can we say? Everything is just working for us at the minute, the bike is great, the team is great and we’ve got the two best riders and it’s showing. Eight wins in a row, six double podiums in a row – wow, I’m almost lost for words. The races today were phenomenal, hard to watch at points but what a show the boys are putting on for the fans! Cadwell is another unique circuit that poses its own challenges, but we look forward to seeing what it brings!”

Posted on Monday, August 15th, 2022 in News

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