Editorial Note: Former MotoAmerica regular Jack Roach, a Canadian, won the British Junior Supersport Race by a margin of 6.4 seconds on a Completely Motorcycles/Affinity Kawasaki Ninja 400. Roach is fifth in the Championship point standings with eight races remaining.
More, from a press release issued by MotorSport Vision Racing:
Last lap dogfights decide Bennetts BSB race winners as O’Halloran and Mackenzie win Thruxton thrillers
Jason O’Halloran and Tarran Mackenzie claimed the victories in two sensational Bennetts British Superbike Championship races at Thruxton today as both went down to the wire, decided by intense last lap battles between the top three contenders in front of a packed crowd.
O’Halloran claimed the second victory of the weekend, becoming the first rider to secure his position in the Showdown following a dramatic final lap of race two, out dragging reigning champion Mackenzie and Bradley Ray to the line with just 0.165s covering the top three.
The final lap had started with Ray heading the trio, but O’Halloran went for a decisive move at Church, diving down the inside of the Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha.
Ray cut back though and was edging ahead on the high-speed run to the Club Chicane for the last time, but Mackenzie was also in the mix with the three contenders side-by-side, but the defending champion was the hardest on the brakes.
Mackenzie was leading O’Halloran and Ray into Club, but as the trio exited on the drag to the chequered flag, the Australian got the best drive and he was able to beat his McAMS Yamaha teammate to the line by just 0.079s with Ray in third. There was just 0.165s covering the top three at the finish.
Peter Hickman equalled his best result of the season with a fourth place finish for the FHO Racing BMW team; he had been in the leading group in the early stages of the race but was able to hold enough of a margin over the chasing pair of Lee Jackson and Glenn Irwin.
Rory Skinner was seventh on the second of the Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki with Danny Buchan moving into eighth in the closing stages ahead of Leon Haslam and Tommy Bridewell who completed the top ten.
The final race of the weekend was another classic Bennetts BSB fight to the finish, with defending champion Mackenzie ending his teammate’s bid to complete the hat trick at the high-speed Hampshire circuit.
The win was Mackenzie’s first Superbike win at Thruxton and he took it in dramatic style by just 0.019s at the chequered flag, following the final lap thriller.
The race again went down to the finish between the leading three contenders with Ray starting the final lap in the lead on the Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha, with the McAMS Yamaha pairing of Mackenzie and O’Halloran in close company.
Mackenzie dived for the inside at Church, grabbing the lead, but Ray was instantly retaliating to run alongside the reigning champion on the run down to the Club Chicane; however, Mackenzie had just enough to keep Ray at bay on the drag to the finish line.
O’Halloran had been there right to the finish too, recovering from a big moment earlier in the lap to be back in the fight to the finish, with just 0.293s covering the top three at the chequered flag.
The podium scores this weekend means that both O’Halloran and Ray are now confirmed Title Fighters for the Showdown with six races remaining to decide the final six positions.
It was disappointment for Hickman on the FHO Racing BMW though; he had been holding another strong fourth place when a technical problem forced him to retire mid-race and then the fight for fourth became a six-way tussle in the closing stages.
Glenn Irwin emerged at the front of the chasing pack to take fourth place; his consistent weekend and a crash for Kyle Ryde in race three means the Honda Racing UK rider has now moved ahead in the overall standings into fifth position after round six.
Jackson completed the top five for Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki team, getting ahead of Haslam on the VisionTrack Kawasaki and Bridewell who surged his way through the pack on the Oxford Products Racing Ducati.
Andrew Irwin ended his weekend on a positive with eighth place for the SYNETIQ BMW team, with Skinner and Tom Sykes completing the top ten.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Thruxton, Race 2 result:
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha)
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) +0.079s
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.165s
- Peter Hickman (FHO Racing BMW) +7.181s
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) +11.410s
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) +11.970s
- Rory Skinner (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) +12.286s
- Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) +13.872s
- Leon Haslam (VisionTrack Kawasaki) +15.081s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +15.390s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Thruxton, Race 3 result:
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha)
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) +0.019s
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) +0.293s
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) +10.573s
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) +11.846s
- Leon Haslam (VisionTrack Kawasaki) +11.900s
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +12.018s
- Andrew Irwin (SYNETIQ BMW) +12.156s
- Rory Skinner (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) +12.232s
- Tom Sykes (MCE Ducati) +16.767s
Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings after Thruxton:
- Jason O’Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 331 – SHOWDOWN CONFIRMED
- Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) 307 – SHOWDOWN CONFIRMED
- Lee Jackson (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) 219
- Rory Skinner (Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki) 199
- Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing UK) 192
- Kyle Ryde (Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha) 173
- Tarran Mackenzie (McAMS Yamaha) 170
- Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) 158
For more information on the Bennetts British Superbike Championship visit www.britishsuperbike.com
Race 2 winner
“We won two races this weekend and took a third, the fastest lap of the weekend and felt really comfortable in all of the races.
“I managed the first two races quite well and in the last race I got a worse start so it changed the strategy, I sat behind Taz and Brad for as long as I could and then I probably went to the front one lap too early thinking I had more tyre than I did.
“Maybe I pushed too much too soon and cooked the tyre a bit, but they were very enjoyable races. I love racing here, it’s more like a cycling race than a tyre race as you’re conserving the tyres and thinking about strategy.
“It would have been easier if there was two of us, as when there’s three it makes the strategy a bit more tricky. I’m really enjoying it at the minute and looking forward to Cadwell Park.”
Race 3 winner
“I’m really happy, that was a good way to end the weekend! I felt like I had a chance to win yesterday and that gave me some good confidence for the races. I felt great in all of the races, unfortunately I just got out-dragged in race two but we managed to get the job done in race three!
“I felt strong and led a lot of laps which is important for me as I made a big step forward in my riding and figured some stuff out during the weekend which was perfect.
“To win after leading for a lot of laps and then having a last lap scrap was fun, it was a bit of a ballsy move into Church. I’m over the moon for the team and I’m looking forward to carrying that momentum.”