DoningtonBSB: Jason O’Halloran draws first blood in BSB
McAMS Yamaha rider Jason O’Halloran has ended the opening free practice session on top of the timesheets as the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship kicks off at Donington National.
Using the shortened National circuit that was first introduced to the BSB calendar in 2019, the condensed British Superbike Championship kicked off with McAMS Yamaha rider Jason O’Halloran ended the only Friday session fastest.
The new schedule sees one single practice session for the BSB category, ahead of an action packed Saturday with free practice two, DATATAG Qualifying and the first of three races, the first being a 22-lapper.
Jason O’Halloran fired the all-new YZF-R1 to the top of the timesheets, setting a 1:06.535 and topping the session by 0.019s ahead of Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW’s Hector Barbera and Andrew Irwin aboard his brand new 2020 CBR1000RR-R.
Runner-up in 2019, Josh Brookes, ended the opening day of action fourth fastest aboard the newly branded, VisionTrack Ducati, ahead of Danny Buchan and second Honda, Glenn Irwin.
Peter Hickman continues to look strong, finishing the session in seventh, 0.544s off O’Halloran’s quickest time. Hickman’s Global Robots BMW was 0.039s quicker than second OMG Racing rider Luke Mossey and Global Robots BMW team-mate, Alex Olsen.
Kyle Ryde returns to BSB action, and ended his first day back on a Superbike in tenth fastest, with Christian Iddon in 11th as he continues to adapt to the Ducati V4 R after a large stint on the BMW.
Joe Francis had an impressive first day. The former Supersport front-runner wrapped up the day in 12th ahead of Donington test topper, Lee Jackson and Jack Kennedy.
Tommy Bridewell completed the top 15. The Oxford Products Ducati rider was shocked on how much the Pirelli tyres have changed and continues to search for the ideal setup to suit the bike and the new tyres.
Second McAMS Yamaha rider, Tarran Mackenzie, finished the day in 16th, although expect to see more from the 2019 Silverstone race winner.
Bradley Ray makes his BMW debut and ended the day as the fastest SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad rider. The double Donington winner from 2018 finished 17th with Ryan Vickers, Keith Farmer and Dan Linfoot completing the top 20.
Storm Stacey makes his BSB debut aboard the GR Motorsport Kawasaki. Stacey was 21st fastest ahead of Superstock 1000 race winner and BSB points finisher Taylor Mackenzie who joins Ray at SYNETIQ BMW.
The third Irwin brother of Graeme Irwin finished down in 23rd with Josh Owens, Gino Rea and Bjorn Estment completed the field.
The Roadhouse Macau Racing by ON 1 BMW of Brian McCormack failed to complete a lap under 1:11.525, which is the 110% cut off in order to qualify for the race.
BSB returns on Saturday morning for free practice two at 10:15, before a 25-minute qualifying session to set the grid begins at 13:20 and lights out for race one is at 16:30 local time.
Featured image: McAMS Yamaha/Impact Images