O’Halloran quickest and under lap record on opening day at Cadwell
Jason O’Halloran was under the lap record as he led the way on the opening day of official practice for the eighth round of the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Cadwell Park.
The Australian had been third quickest in Friday evening’s official test session having found a solid feeling with the R1 in the 25 laps of the picturesque Lincolnshire circuit, which laid the foundations for a positive Friday.
Within the top three throughout the 40-minute Free Practice 1, O’Halloran would post a time of 1’25.667 in the final ten minutes to storm to the top of the timesheets, under the lap record and within two tenths of the Superpole record set last year by Bradley Ray.
Unfortunately, the opening session would be O’Halloran’s only track time of the day. With a biblical storm delaying FP2 by 45 minutes, he opted to remain in the garage when the session finally got underway, confident with his feeling with the bike in the wet.
Ending the day quickest, O’Halloran progresses directly to Q2.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Cadwell Park, combined Free Practice times:
Pos: 1st Time: 1’25.667
“It’s been a really good first day. It was nice to have the test evening last night, that meant we started in a pretty good place today and knew the area we needed to improve. I felt comfortable from the opening laps of free practice so we worked through our session plan and I ended up fastest which was nice. More importantly I had a very good feeling on the bike! Tomorrow we have the Superpole format for qualifying which is a bit different but I tested my one lap pace today and that’s when we were able to do that lap time, so I’m looking forward to that and the Sprint race!”
“We knew we needed to carry the momentum from Thruxton and we’ve hit the ground running here at Cadwell Park. It wasn’t the strongest round for us last year but we won here in 2021, so we learned a few things in the test last night and this allowed us to start in a really good place today. We know what Jason is capable of, and we know what’s on the table, so fingers crossed we can continue the momentum and enjoy a strong weekend.”
Jason O’Halloran finishes fourth in the Cadwell Park Sprint Race
Jason O’Halloran pushed until the very end at Cadwell Park today as he rode to a fourth-place finish in the BikeSocial Sprint Race in the eighth round of the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
After a washout Saturday afternoon, conditions cleared up for Sunday morning’s free practice three session, which gave the McAMS Yamaha rider more dry laps as he looked to fine-tune the setting on his R1 machine.
However, the dry weather was short-lived as patchy showers began to fall during FP4, and with more scheduled for qualifying, BSB organisers took the decision to run the wet-weather Superpole format. Heading out for the 15-minute dash for pole position, the Australian caught traffic through Hall Bends, losing a bit of time on his fast lap.
As a brief shower returned mid-way through the session, O’Halloran sat fourth and would hold position until the death where he dropped to fifth ahead of the afternoon’s race.
Launching from the second row, the O’Show held position in the frantic opening laps before a retirement ahead moved him to fourth. Chasing the leading trio as more drops of rain briefly began to fall over the Lincolnshire venue, the number 22 rider continued to eat into the gap ahead, but struggling with a lack of rear grip, it would prove too big a task.
A heroic final lap saw the group of three quickly become a quartet, but despite his best efforts, couldn’t find the pass he needed to put him on the podium, crossing the line to end the 12-lap sprint in fourth.
Qualifying: 5th (1:26.102)
Sprint Race: 4th
“Overall it was a good first race for us at Cadwell. I struggled a bit at the start with the feeling from the rear tyre, but I kept on pushing and closed the top three down but just ran out of laps to get the move for the podium done. I’ve had a good feeling with the bike all weekend, so we’ll have a look and make a few adjustments for tomorrow and get back in the mix.”
“That was a good start, obviously we are aiming for wins and podiums but that’s not easy in BSB! We’ve had good pace all weekend and there was something holding Jason back in the early part of the race, towards the end he was quicker than anyone as you saw by how he closed down on the leading group so that bodes well for two longer races tomorrow. We’ll have a look at the data and try to figure out what was missing at the start and go again tomorrow!”
A podium for O’Halloran in Race 2 at Cadwell Park
There was more podium joy for Jason O’Halloran and the McAMS Yamaha team as the Australian took a third-place finish in the second race at Cadwell Park.
After taking a fourth place in Saturday’s Sprint Race, O’Halloran knew it would be tricky from the second row of the grid with Cadwell a notoriously challenging venue for passing, especially given the speed deficit to some competitors this year. Biding his time, O’Halloran was sat comfortably in the top five before attacking at the end with two moves at the Hairpin to take a strong third place.
Again starting from the second row in Race 3, the O’Show got a strong start but was knocked back a little on the opening laps. Re-grouping, the Australian was the quickest rider on the track towards the end of the race but it wasn’t quite enough. Moving up to fifth, he set his sights on improving that position to take a fourth. However, a mistake from the rider ahead meant O’Halloran had to sit up to avoid hitting his rival, meaning he’d lose a place on the final lap and cross the line sixth.
A solid points haul means O’Halloran maintains the gap to the championship lead at just 54.5 points with three rounds remaining with the points ramping up next time out at Oulton Park (15-17 September) with 25 points available for a win over the next two rounds before things ramp up even further at Brands Hatch for the finale in October.
Race 1: 4th
Race 2: 3rd
Race 3: 6th
“It’s been a good weekend, we’ve had decent pace all weekend and I felt good on the bike. It was nice to get a podium in race one and then I finished sixth at the end. It’s always difficult when you start on row two here as it’s so, so hard to pass around here. You work so hard to try and get through and then you have to try and close the gap at the end and that burns the tyre up and also burns your energy up. I’m looking Oulton, I think we’re in a pretty good place with the bike – we rode a similar bike to what we had at Thruxton and it’s worked pretty well so we’re in a good place, so we’ll give it our all.”
“This is in so many ways one of the most difficult BSB rounds on the calendar given it’s technical nature, how physical it is and how narrow it is, so to walk away with three top sixes including a podium is a strong weekend. Unfortunately you can’t give anything away around here and even starting on the second row, when you’ve the speed disadvantage we have to some of our competitors, it’s just so hard to pass, especially as you’re on the limit all the time. Jason rode well, he had strong pace but unfortunately we were on the back foot after qualifying and never quite recovered to fight at the front. We’ll try again at Oulton Park!”