Jason O’Halloran back on the podium at Brands Hatch
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Jason O’Halloran back on the podium at Brands Hatch
[Image: hondalogobsb.jpg]

Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran returned to the podium at Brands Hatch aboard the all-new Fireblade as the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship drew to a close.

Finishing the final race in second place, O’Halloran also finished fifth in the overall championship standings. Team-mate Dan Linfoot wrapped up the weekend with two strong performances, finishing top-ten in both races.

O’Halloran meant business from the start of today’s opening race and with strong pace over the 20 laps, the Aussie battled with the group for fourth place, eventually taking the line in fifth. With his sights on the podium for the final race of the day, The O’Show lined up on the grid in sixth place and it wasn’t long before he was hunting down the front group.

Having made it into third place with only Ellison and Brookes ahead of him, and a blistering pace aboard the CBR, the Aussie easily made his way into the second place spot, where he crossed the line taking his fourth podium of the season.

Team-mate Linfoot started his day from 21st on the grid and a flying start off the line saw him make up places quickly. By the tenth lap he was knocking on the door to the top-ten. Digging deep and pushing throughout the final stages of the 20-lap race, the 29-year old crossed the line in ninth place.

Having scored the fifth fastest time in the first race, the Yorkshireman lined up fifth on the grid. A difficult start this time saw Linfoot drop a few places in the opening lap, but pushing through he set about getting back into the front group. Making passes and enjoying some on-track battles, Linfoot crossed the line seventh.

The 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship has been a mixed season for the Honda Racing team, with O’Halloran securing a hard-fought place in the all-important Showdown, finishing fifth in the title and recording four podiums along the way. Earlier in the year the team also celebrated when Linfoot scored his maiden Superbike victory and took the first BSB win for the all-new Fireblade, which he then built on with a second win at the following round.

[Image: linfootpodiumbrands.jpg]

We had the potential in the first race to have been placed higher, but for that one we started a long way back and that meant I had to really push hard in the first half of the race and at the start I felt really good and was making up places. I managed to catch the group, Jason was in for fourth within seven laps, so I had the pace and was pleased with that. I started pushing the front and didn’t want to risk crashing, so it was then about getting a good grid position for the last race to be honest. I lost a little bit of pace at the end and just brought it home ninth, so it wasn’t a great result but considering where we were on the grid, it wasn’t too bad! Race two was better and I was happy with how I rode, we improved on the pace we had in the first race, but after the safety car if I’m honest, I didn’t have the same sort of connection with the rear grip. After that I just didn’t have the pace to go with the leaders, which broke me a bit at the end and came home seventh. But that’s 2017 over and it’s been a challenging year with some lows, but then we’ve had then some incredible highs, I’m so chuffed to have finally got that BSB win for myself and the team, then to follow it up with a second win was just mega. It’s nice to see Jason on the podium today and rounding off the season for us with a second place finish.
Dan Linfoot / #4

It’s been a bit of a taxing year, we started on a low level, everyone has worked hard to progress and get us to a place we all know we can be. Every single person in the team has given me the absolute max this year and I can’t ask for anymore from the Honda Racing guys, they’re all fantastic and I do have a great crew. We were pushing every single weekend and unfortunately during the last three or four rounds I have had crashes on the Friday and Saturday, with some small injuries and have given the boys some work to do. So coming into this weekend I was determined to have a strong one. Everything went smoothly really, we improved in every race and we gained momentum over the weekend, which was really refreshing. The last race I gave everything I had and with about four laps to go I thought to myself, I have a chance of winning this! I was pushing, folding the front and losing the rear, Josh and James in front were riding so well; to be honest everyone was! So to finish second and get back to podium for the final race I’m really happy with the result and it’s a good way to finish the season.
Jason O'Halloran / #22

I’m really pleased with the strong finish for both riders today to end the season well at Brands Hatch. It was such a shame for Dan in yesterday’s race with the damaged radiator, which forced him out and he was unable to restart after the red flag. In today’s first race both riders were able to push and get competitive times in order to secure a good starting position for the final race. I’m pleased for both of them, they have been strong this weekend and shown what we already know, that they can be competitive and at the sharp end. I’m happy for Jason finishing on the podium in second place, it was great to see him making passes and fighting with the front-runners. There are some areas where we need to be strong and we will work on those and come back stronger for next year.
Havier Beltran - Honda Racing team manager

16-10-2017, 11:56 AM
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