BSB 2016 – Snetterton – Jason O’Halloran takes first win

Jason O'Halloran victor in Snetterton Race One BSB 2016 - Image by Jon Jessop
Jason O’Halloran victor in Snetterton Race One BSB 2016 – Image by Jon Jessop
Jason O’Halloran claims first win to become sixth different race winner at Snetterton

Jason O’Halloran claimed a hard-fought victory in the opening MCE British Superbike Championship race at Snetterton, taking advantage of a huge moment for his Honda Racing team-mate at Murrays on the final lap, to out drag him to the finish line to become the sixth different race winner in 2016.

Jason O'Halloran leads at Snetterton BSB 2016 - Image by Jon Jessop
Jason O’Halloran leads at Snetterton BSB 2016 – Image by Jon Jessop

The opening lap of race one was full of drama as pole sitter Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne led the pack ahead of Leon Haslam, however as they streamed through Montreal several riders collided with James Ellison, Richard Cooper and Broc Parkes all ending their race prematurely with crashes.

A corner later and Haslam and Byrne both went for the same line into Palmers; the Be Wiser Ducati rider taking to the grass and dropping right down the order in the thick of the pack. At the front O’Halloran and Linfoot were dicing for the lead and the pair also had Haslam for close company.

Jason O'Halloran leads at Snetterton BSB 2016 - Image by Jon Jessop
Jason O’Halloran leads at Snetterton BSB 2016 – Image by Jon Jessop

Just two laps later and Glenn Irwin suffered a technical problem, but caused Peter Hickman and Michael Laverty to take evasive action, the pair crashing out of the race.

At the front the lead changed several times as the Honda Racing pair traded blows for the lead, but further back in the pack, Byrne was taking no prisoners and he was making his way through the field in aggressive fashion.

The Honda Racing pairing went into the final lap with nothing between them, O’Halloran had taken the lead at Riches, but Linfoot was on the attack and reclaimed the position at the end of the Bentley Straight. Linfoot looked like he was going to hold off his team-mate, but a huge moment on the exit of Murrays gave O’Halloran the opportunity he needed and the pair crossed the line with just 0.2s between them.

Jason O'Halloran leads at Snetterton BSB 2016 - Image by Jon Jessop
Jason O’Halloran leads at Snetterton BSB 2016 – Image by Jon Jessopq

Byrne had moved into third position but behind there was an intense battle for fourth with Billy McConnell scoring the FS-3 Racing Kawasaki team’s best result of the season as Haslam dropped back to fifth place.

Jake Dixon impressed in only his second event to claim sixth place for the local Briggs Equipment BMW team with Luke Mossey and Tommy Bridewell returning to the top ten, just ahead of Stuart Easton and Lee Jackson. Smiths Racing BMW’s Jakub Smrz and Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha’s James Rispoli scored their best result of the season so far in eleventh and thirteenth respectively.

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In race two Byrne emerged victorious, holding off Linfoot to claim the win and with it take a four point lead in the overall standings ahead of Thruxton in two weeks’ time.

Byrne had taken the lead on the opening lap, but behind O’Halloran, Haslam, Laverty and Linfoot were all queuing up to try and take the advantage.

Haslam moved up to second on the opening lap with a move on O’Halloran and then Laverty also pushed the Australian back a further place to fourth. His team-mate Linfoot was determined after missing out on the victory in race one and as they crossed the line to start lap four Linfoot was up to second.

At the front it became a battle between Byrne and Linfoot, with the Honda Racing rider trying to make a move, but the four-time champion was holding him off as behind the trio of Haslam, Laverty and O’Halloran was scrapping for the final podium position.

Haslam had been defending hard but on the tenth lap Laverty made a committed pass at Murrays to move ahead of O’Halloran and Haslam. The ‘Pocket Rocket’ responded instantly, fighting back into fourth place and targeting Laverty ahead of him, however when Jenny Tinmouth crashed on the entry to Nelson unhurt, the race was red flagged.

Michael Laverty leads Leon Haslam at Snetterton BSB 2016
Michael Laverty leads Leon Haslam at Snetterton BSB 2016

Byrne had done enough to hold off Linfoot with Laverty claiming the final podium position from Haslam and O’Halloran, who moves up to third in the overall standings. Christian Iddon secured a strong sixth place despite a finger injury after a duel with rookie Glenn Irwin, who equalled his best result of seventh.

Hickman claimed eighth ahead of Danny Buchan and Tommy Bridewell who completed the top ten. It was another disappointing race for James Ellison who retired his JG Speedfit Kawasaki.

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Josh Hook had technical problems with the WD-40 Kawasaki in qualifying and those problems returned a few laps into race one, forcing him to retire. Unfortunately the bike failed again as he tried to join the grid for race two. A bitter blow after feeling so comfortable on the weekend, and ending the third practice session second quickest. Hook was hopeful of scoring points in the races but, what we believe to be fuel pump problems, ruined race day for the Taree youngster.

Broc Parkes was hit by another rider in the opening race, pitching him on to the grass and in the ensuing crash Parkes suffered a suspected broken rib when struck by the bike. Parkes had showed good pace all weekend and believed he had a competitive enough package to challenge for a podium.

Billy McConnell’s excellent fourth in the opening bout was backed up with a 14th in the second stanza.

In British Supersport Benjamin Currie bounced back from Saturday’s DNF to an eighth place result in race two while Levi Day finished 18th.

Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing)  – Race one winner
Jason O'Halloran victor in Snetterton Race One BSB 2016 - Image by Jon Jessop
Jason O’Halloran victor in Snetterton Race One BSB 2016 – Image by Jon Jessop

“It is an unbelievable feeling to win my first BSB race; especially as it is nearly a year ago I broke my femur and also had my first BSB podium here at Snetterton. We have had a great weekend at Snetterton and I had a fantastic battle with my team-mate Dan to get the win, so it is really hard to explain the feeling – it is amazing. We knew they would be hard races today, so big thanks to my Honda Racing team; I can’t wait to get to Thruxton now.”

Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) – Race two winner and championship leader
Shane Byrne
Shane Byrne

“I definitely felt better after race two than I did after race one that’s for sure! I had a different strategy as I wanted to set the pace and I increased the lap time but knew some guys had gone with me, but eventually it was just myself and Dan. We were together and then I knew I needed to pull the pin for the last few laps to try and break him and then it was red flagged. It was a cool race and I am really happy. Ultimately we try and achieve two wins at every round, but the good thing was we had a great base setting from the test for this round and now I am looking forward to Thruxton.”

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, race one result
  1. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing)
  2. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.257s
  3. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +10.494s
  4. Billy McConnell (FS-3 Racing Kawasaki) +13.135s
  5. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +14.734s
  6. Jake Dixon (Briggs Equipment BMW) +17.179
  7. Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Teccare Kawasaki) +18.926s
  8. Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki) +20.404s
  9. Stuart Easton (ePayMe Yamaha) +27.953s
  10. Lee Jackson (Buildbase BMW) +28.136s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Snetterton, race two result
  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
  2. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) +0.562s
  3. Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) +3.943s
  4. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +4.070s
  5. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +4.505s
  6. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +9.723s
  7. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +9.828s
  8. Peter Hickman (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +10.241s
  9. Danny Buchan (Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati) +11.829s
  10. Tommy Bridewell (Bennetts Suzuki) +12.266s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings
  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) 156
  2. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 152
  3. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 116
  4. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) 111
  5. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 104
  6. Richard Cooper (Buildbase BMW) 98