After finishing BSB 2018 on a high with a podium at the Brands Hatch finale, Jason O’Halloran has parted company with Honda after an incredible 11 year with the brand. During those years with Honda Jason has taken the runner-up spot in the British Superstock Championship twice, in 2012 and 2014, but a BSB Title has eluded the O’Show.
After an injury plagued season this year which saw O’Halloran finish eighth in the British Superbike Championship, the 30-year-old will switch allegiances and ride for Yamaha in BSB season 2019.
O’Halloran last rode for Yamaha in 2007, when he clinched the Australian Supersport Championship on a YZF-R6.
“It’s a new chapter and its really exciting to be joining a new team and manufacturer after a long time in the same place. I have big aims and know I’ve got loads more to prove, people haven’t seen the best of me yet! The bike is a proven race winner and the team has great pedigree, so I believe we have the ingredients to fight for wins. I’ve followed the R1 plenty and it seems like you need to be smooth and hold good corner speed, things I really think I can work with. Taz has some great experience on the bike now, so it will be good to be able to hook into information too.”
O’Halloran will join young Tarran McKenzie at the McAms Yamaha squad. McKenzie had his rookie Superbike season in 2018 and took tenth place in the championship while team-mate Josh Brookes finished the season in fourth place.
“We had a mega first year on the YZF-R1 and I’m just so pleased to be able to continue that progression with the same bike, crew and team for next season, it’s the perfect situation to be honest. Our target was to get a podium before the year was out and we got four with a couple more near misses, so I’m well happy with that to be honest. We hit our stride mid-season and towards the end of the year I felt like my trackcraft and confidence was really high so it will be great starting the year in that way. Silverstone was a key round, we had two podiums, it should have been three and we were battling with the Championship contenders all race. The aim for next season is definitely to make the Showdown and get those first race wins. We have a test at Almeria after Motorcycle Live and I just can’t wait to get cracking, I’m not great at sitting around!”
Brookes has joined PBM Be Wiser Ducati for 2019 and will be joined on the Panigale V4 R in the squad by MotoGP exile Scott Redding.
“PBM have been the benchmark during much of my time in BSB and have always set the bar very high. With Shakey being my arch-rival, I never really saw myself riding alongside him but when things changed, it became a real consideration, although I wish him a full recovery. The Be Wiser Ducati V4 will be an awesome bike and I’m excited to be a part of this, and to start winning regularly again. I know the team will be at the forefront once again in 2019 and I’m really looking forward to this challenge.”
Not only has Jason O’Halloran parted ways with Honda, team-mate Dan Linfoot has also left Honda Racing after a long collaboration with the team. Honda have announced that Andrew Irwin will race Superbike on the Fireblade in BSB 2019 while Tom Neave will contest the Superstock 1000 Championship for Honda Racing.
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