Jason O’Halloran topped the times in the final Official Test ahead of the opening round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship later this month. The McAMS Yamaha rider snatched the top spot on his final lap of the day to bring a thrilling end to pre-season testing in front of the returning fans at Donington Park.
O’Halloran had been at the top of the times during the early stages of the final session ahead of Honda Racing’s Glenn Irwin, but with 20 minutes remaining Christian Iddon had moved into second.
The final ten minutes of the test produced a flurry of faster laps and Danny Kent, who had been quickest in the opening session for Buildbase Suzuki, went fastest with just over eight minutes remaining.
O’Halloran then reclaimed the position just seconds later as Glenn Irwin moved back into second place, but the order didn’t remain for long as Kyle Ryde fired the Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW ahead with four minutes remaining.
It wasn’t over however, as Tarran Mackenzie leapt up the order to post the benchmark time as the session approached the final two minutes.
Ryde held onto third place at the chequered flag, narrowly holding off Glenn Irwin with Kent completing the top five. The Buildbase Suzuki rider edged out defending champion Josh Brookes into sixth place as five different manufactures featured in the top six positions.
“I’m happy enough with how today went, it was good to get some more dry track time and to continue developing our overall package as well as getting more data about the tyres. Whereas the time sheets don’t reflect our hard work and performance, I’m not really taking much notice as we are only six-tenths off the riders who concentrated on putting a fast lap in and we can do our times all race long. We have had a good, solid testing schedule over the past few weeks and are now raring to get the season started at Oulton Park in a couple of weeks.”
Christian Iddon was seventh fastest on the second of the VisionTrack Ducatis with Gino Rea, Lee Jackson and Peter Hickman completing the top ten.
Peter Hickman was not the only ‘Road Racing’ star at the test as Michael Dunlop and Dean Harrison also used the event to get seat time in.
The opening round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship takes place over the weekend of 25/27 June at Oulton Park for the first of 11 rounds, all containing three races.
British Superbike Donington Test
Luke Hedger topped Superstock 1000 ahead of Taylor Mackenzie and South Australian Billy McConnell who finished the test in P3.
Levi Day, another South Australian, finished the test 12th quickest while Tumut’s Brayden Elliott was P19.
Kiwis Shane Richardson and Damon Rees were 11th and 20th respectively amongst a field of 41 Superstock 1000 competitors.
Jack Kennedy topped British Supersport ahead of Brad Perie and Korie McGreevy while Victorian Ben Currie was fourth.
Currie the only Aussie in a Supersport field which numbered only 12 competitors. The ranks of GP2 have grown for 2021 though, with the Moto2 styled category having nine competitors participating in the test.
There are no Australians in the GP2 or Ducati TriOptions Cup classes this year but Seth Crump is contesting the Pirelli National Junior Superstock Championship. Seth finished the Donington Test 19th in Jnr STK.
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.