The McAMS Yamaha team will be looking to strengthen their fight for the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike crown with a strong weekend as Rounds 13/14/15 of the season get underway at Donington Park.
Having taken three victories and four further podiums from the last six races, the team hope to carry their momentum forward to this weekend’s action as they look to fight for the 2020 title.
A double win last time out at Oulton Park puts Jason O’Halloran in prime position to challenge, having taken more podiums than any other rider this season, the Australian now sits just two points off series leader Glenn Irwin ahead of the final six races.
Team-mate Tarran Mackenzie is also in the mix, a brace of top ten finishes at Oulton Park sees the Silverstone race winner 53 points off the top of the table, but having seen his team-mate reduce a 44 point lead to just two over one weekend at Oulton Park, the 24-year-old knows a strong round at Donington could keep him in the title hunt ahead of the finale at Brands.
The weekend marks the season’s second visit to Donington, this time on the longer Grand Prix circuit as opposed to the National layout used back in August, where O’Halloran stormed to pole position and two podium finishes.
Mackenzie also has podium history at the iconic circuit, which is located just ten minutes’ drive from his family home in Ashby de la Zouch.
Practice for the weekend gets underway on Friday afternoon ahead of qualifying and the opening race on Saturday with two further races on Sunday.
2020 BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPIONSHIP – ROUNDS 13/14/15
Friday 2nd October
15:15- 16:00: Free Practice 1
Saturday 3rd October
09:40 – 10:25: Free Practice 2
12:15 – 12:40: Datatag Extreme Qualifying
16:00 – Race 1 (18 laps)
Sunday 4th October
09:35 – 09:45: Warm Up
12:15 – Race 2 (20 laps)
16:15 – Race 3 (20 laps)
Championship Pos: 2nd – 176 points
“I am excited to get back out on track at Donington this weekend. The results at Oulton Park put us right in the hunt for the 2020 championship and they didn’t come out of the blue, we have been working towards that all season and it felt like a long time coming! We were really strong at the national circuit earlier in the year and I feel we’ve made some big progress since then so I’m confident going into the weekend, we’ve got the speed, the ability and the bike is clearly in a good place. The plan is to approach the weekend like every other, I want to be quick from the off in FP1 and then we can build from there. The goal has to be to be in a similar place, or better, in the championship going into Brands Hatch and then it’s game on!”
Championship Pos: 6th – 125 points
“I’m looking forward to Donington. When we were there earlier in the year, the potential was definitely there as shown by our front row start for the third race but that was before we made big steps with the bike over the next few rounds as we started to understand the new tyres. Donington is a mega track and the fast, flowing, first half of the circuit suits our bike really well and the improvements to the R1 for 2020 should also make us stronger in the second half of the lap too, so I’m feeling confident ahead of the weekend and determined to end the season with a strong final two rounds.”
“This is going to be a really important weekend for the team as we look to strengthen our fight for the 2020 crown. We’ve won three out of the last six races and been on the podium in five out of the last six, which shows we are in a pretty strong position with both riders.
“Jason is two points off the championship leads so we’ll be expecting more of the same from him this weekend as he looks to strengthen his position in the title chase ahead of the final three races at Brands Hatch. He was strong at Donington earlier this year so there’s no reason he shouldn’t be up there this weekend.
“Taz is still in the hunt too, a strong weekend from him could see him claw back that points gap just as Jason did at Oulton Park. We know he’s got it in him and Donington has been a great circuit for him in the past, so it will be interesting to see how this weekend pans out!”