BSB Donington: Jason O'Halloran secures first win of 2023 in chaotic second race

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Jason O’Halloran clinched his first Bennetts British Superbike Championship victory of the season in a chaotic second race of the weekend at Donington Park.

The riders were left with a five-lap sprint to the finish following a safety car period, bringing the field back together and triggering pandemonium on the track. Multiple riders were involved in the fight for victory, with the lead changing hands multiple times, but it was O’Halloran who managed to break free.

The McAMS Yamaha rider held off a late charge from Ryan Vickers to become the fifth different race winner of the 2023 season. A tough season so far means that victory also marks O’Halloran’s first trip to the podium this year.

For Vickers, it’s his first-ever podium in the Superbike class and he was visibly thrilled with his achievement as he crossed the line. Vickers, now in his sixth season, missed the opening two rounds through injury.

Josh Brookes took advantage of the safety car scenario to complete the podium for FHO Racing BMW. The Aussie now has the championship lead following Tommy Bridewell’s technical problem following the restart. Brookes has a nine-point lead over Bridewell.

The safety car was released following an incident for Kyle Ryde. The race one winner was controlling the race once again, however at the start of lap 12, his hopes of another win were dashed when he crashed on the exit of Redgate after losing the rear of his LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha R1.

Leon Haslam had to settle for fourth despite leading at one stage, whilst Lee Jackson completed the top five for Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki. Rookie Charlie Nesbitt claimed his best result of the year in sixth, finishing ahead of Peter Hickman and Tom Neave.

Christian Iddon and Jack Kennedy completed the top 10, ahead of Storm Stacey and Max Cook. Hector Barbera, Josh Owens and Bradley Perie secured the final points on offer in the race.

For the second consecutive race Andrew Irwin crashed out on the second lap. The Honda Racing UK rider fell out of fourth place at Old Hairpin.

A few laps later brother Glenn Irwin crashed out of contention. Fighting back through the field after being run wide at the start, the BeerMonster Ducati man crashed going through Redgate on lap five.

Danny Buchan had to start the race from pit lane after pulling in at the end of the warm up lap. Despite re-joining, the SYNETIQ BMW rider did retire his BMW M1000 RR later in the race. Danny Kent pulled off the circuit and retired on lap 16.

The third and final BSB race of the weekend at Donington Park is due to begin at 16:30.

Donington Park BSB Race Two Result

Kyle Ryde led from start-to-finish in the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship race at Donington Park to secure his second victory of the 2023 season.

The LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha rider managed to open up and manage the gap to the rest of the field, and kept his cool as Tommy Bridewell and Leon Haslam tried to close the gap. Ryde’s victory moves him to within 12 points of the championship leader.

It’s Bridewell who takes over as the man to beat in BSB after finishing second. The BeerMonster Ducati rider held off Haslam on the final lap to secure second spot, despite briefly losing the position at the bottom of Craner Curves. Haslam finished third to collect his 108th BSB podium.

Lee Jackson claimed his best result of the season so far onboard the Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki, getting the better of Glenn Irwin in the latter stages of the race. Irwin is now a point behind Bridewell in the standings.

Josh Brookes came home in sixth for FHO Racing BMW, whilst the returning Ryan Vickers was seventh. Danny Kent, Storm Stacey and Charlie Nesbitt completed the top 10.

Peter Hickman crossed the line in 11th but was demoted to 13th after being handed a Long lap equivalent time penalty (2 seconds) following an incident with Jason O’Halloran on the final lap. TV footage showed O’Halloran doing his best to stay on the McAMS Yamaha R1 as he rode through gravel and grass. O’Halloran came home in 14th.

As a result of the penalty, rookie Max Cook clinched his best result in the Superbike class in 11th, whilst Danny Buchan inherited 12th place for SYNETIQ BMW. Buchan missed round two at Oulton Park through injury.

Hector Barbera claimed the final point on off in the opening race of the weekend, finishing ahead of Tim Neave, Bradley Perie and Jack Scott. Luke Mossey and Davey Todd completed the top 20.

Jack Kennedy’s race came to an end at the end of the opening lap when he fell at Goddard’s.

On the following lap, Andrew Irwin attempted a move down the inside of Christian Iddon, who had gone in slightly wide, at Melbourne Loop, however the pair would clash mid-corner and crash out of the race.

Moments later, Dean Harrison went down at the same corner, as did Josh Owens on lap five. Tom Neave returned to the Honda Racing UK garage to retire at the end of the same lap.

The second BSB race of the weekend at Donington Park is due to take place at 13:15 on Sunday afternoon (May 21), with Race Three scheduled to begin at 16:30.

Donington Park BSB Race One Result

Kyle Ryde kept his cool at Donington Park on Saturday afternoon to overcome the pressure of the Superpole qualifying format and take pole position.

The LAMI OMG Racing Yamaha rider was the final rider to take on the one-lap challenge and had an impressive lap-time (1:27.403) from Leon Haslam to overcome. Ryde did just that with a stunning lap, crossing the line with a new BSB lap record (1:27.320) and an advantage of 0.083s.

Haslam’s lap would have been even better had he not ran in too deep at the Melbourne Loop, but the veteran will be confident of challenging for victory in the opening race. Donington Park is the home round for both Ryde and Haslam.

Jason O’Halloran completes the front row for McAMS Yamaha, whilst Tommy Bridewell qualified fourth. Andrew Irwin was the sixth rider to take part in the Superpole session and went fastest with the first 1:27 lap-time. His 1:27.933 kept Irwin on top of the timesheets for a while, with four riders unable to beat him before Bridewell hit the circuit. Irwin will start the race from fifth.

Glenn Irwin joins his brother on the second row for BeerMonster Ducati. The championship leader posted a lap-time of 1:27.977.

Leon Haslam had to settle for second on the grid

Jack Kennedy was the second rider out on track during the Superpole session. Despite struggling again to get his Yamaha R1 started (Kennedy also had the technical problem in the opening qualifying session), the Irishman went top with a 1:28.027.

he next four riders failed to match his time, before Andrew Irwin knocked him off top spot. In the end, Kennedy qualified seventh and heads row three for Mar-Train Yamaha. Lee Jackson and Christian Iddon complete the third row.

Josh Brookes had to settle for 10th on the grid and will start alongside the returning Ryan Vickers and FHO Racing BMW teammate Peter Hickman. Danny Kent and Danny Buchan qualified 13th and 14th respectively.

Max Cook was the first to take on the Superpole format at Donington Park. It was the first time in his career that he’d taken on the format, and the Cheshire Mouldings Kawasaki rider posted a 1:28.639 to qualify 15th.

Charlie Nesbitt failed to make it into the Superpole session due to Kennedy’s exploits, and will start the opening BSB race of the weekend from 16th on the grid. He’s joined on the sixth row by Storm Stacey and Hector Barbera.

Josh Owens heads row seven ahead of Tom Neave and Dean Harrison, whilst Luke Mossey qualified 22nd on his BMW. Davey Todd, Tim Neave, Bradley Perie, Jack Scott and Liam Delves complete the grid.

The first BSB race at Donington Park is due to take place at 17:00 on Saturday afternoon (May 20).

Donington Park Superpole Qualifying Result