BSB: Jason O'Halloran gets his hands on 2023 WorldSBK parts at Knockhill Test

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McAMS Yamaha’s Jason O’Halloran got the chance to test new 2023 parts from their World Superbike Championship counterparts during a two-day test at Knockhill earlier this week.

The Aussie’s 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship campaign hasn’t been the smoothest so far, however he did secure his first win of the season at Donington Park last time out.

O’Halloran sits sixth in the standings after the opening three rounds, 49 points behind championship leader, Tommy Bridewell.

So far this season, O’Halloran has been running a 2022-spec Yamaha R1, primarily due to the fact that pre-season testing in the UK was hampered by rain. The team also opted not to head out to Spain for the official test at Navarra.

At Knockhill, O’Halloran tried a number of new chassis parts, including the new WorldSBK-spec carbon subframe and Yamaha’s latest factory swingarm. Both parts reportedly offered an improvement in grip levels. O’Halloran also tested different engine specs.

“We’ve had a really good couple of days at Knockhill,” O’Halloran said. “The weather has been good, so we’ve managed to get through everything we needed to get through in our test programme.

“We’ve definitely made some improvements to the bike with the new chassis parts we’ve got. Today was focused on the engine spec, and we worked through what we need to with that.

“I’m happy enough with the overall lap time, and we also did a long run at the end of the day, so we’ve got through a lot. We’re in a really good starting place for when we come back here for the race.”

Tim Neave onboard his McAMS Yamaha R1 at Knockhill (Credit: Impact Images)

The BSB paddock returns to Knockhill for round four of the season on June 16-17. O’Halloran won two of the three races in Scotland last season, finishing second in the other, whilst he secured a single podium at the circuit in 2021.

“We started the year with what we knew as there’s far too much going on during a race weekend to be testing things,” team owner, Steve Rodgers added. This test presented the perfect opportunity to try our new components and fully evaluate them with back-to-back testing.

“We’re leaving this test feeling like we’ve achieved something. The chassis parts are a clear step forward on the old bike, and we’ve a direction to go in with engine spec so all in all, it’s been a very productive test.”

Meanwhile, Tim Neave used the test as an opportunity to gain valuable track time away from hectic BSB race weekends. The only negative for Neave was a crash at turn seven, caused by what the team say was a “freak technical issue.”

“Obviously last year I had the biggest crash of my career at Knockhill when the handlebar snapped off coming into the hairpin, so for me it was about getting up here and doing some laps and getting comfortable,” Neave said.

“To be honest, after a couple of laps I was feeling good. I was happy with the track and the bike felt good, I was putting in some quite competitive times with a reasonable gap to Jason. The crash set us back a bit. It was quite a big crash, but fortunately, I was ok, if a bit stiff.”