Jason O’Halloran got the jump on his Bennetts British Superbike Championship rivals in the opening free practice session at Brands Hatch on Friday afternoon as the McAMS Yamaha rider held the advantage in the times, leading the way by 0.076s.
O’Halloran held the position from SYNETIQ BMW’s Bradley Ray who had a stunning start to his home round in second place, nudging title contender Glenn Irwin for Honda Racing into third place ahead of tomorrow’s opening race.
Jason O’Halloran – P1
“I love riding the GP circuit here at Brands Hatch. I eased into it and felt comfortable pretty much from my out lap and I felt happy with the setting of the McAMS Yamaha. I built into it, went back out at the end and wanted to try and improve my pace, but the track was quite cool so I just played it safe. We got plenty of laps in and I don’t think we are far away; we will make some small tweaks tonight but we should be in good shape for tomorrow. I can’t wait to get stuck in with qualifying and the first race tomorrow to see what we can do!”
Luke Mossey was another rider to break up the title contenders in the opening session as he fired his Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW into fourth place, narrowly ahead of championship leader Josh Brookes. The Australian will be striving to hold on to his advantage in the standings, with 16-points between him and his VisionTrack Ducati team-mate Christian Iddon.
Iddon was just adrift in sixth place with Andrew Irwin and Tommy Bridewell next up in the order as Héctor Barberá and Danny Buchan completed the top ten.
For the fifth of the title contenders, it was a disastrous start to the weekend with Tarran Mackenzie crashing out at Stirlings, and sidelined for the majority of the session. The McAMS Yamaha rider ending the opening day in 18th place.
Lachlan Epis is making his debut in British Superbike and ended his first day in 25th position, 7.2-seconds behind pacesetter O’Halloran.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship
Brands Hatch GP, Free Practice 1
Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 1m26:113s
Bradley Ray (SYNETIQ BMW) +0.076s
Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +0.169s
Luke Mossey (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +0.322s
Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) +0.407s
Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +0.509s
Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) +0.556s
Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +0.748s
Héctor Barberá (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +0.830s
Danny Buchan (Rapid Fulfillment FS-3 Kawasaki) +0.877s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings
Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) 225
Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) 209
Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) 207
Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 206
Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 179
Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 146
Andrew Irwin (Honda Racing) 139
Lee Jackson (Rapid Fulfillment FS-3 Kawasaki) 131
Kyle Ryde (Buildbase Suzuki) 130
Danny Buchan (Rapid Fulfillment FS-3 Kawasaki) 101
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