Jason O’Halloran made a late break after a frantic battle over the last few laps to win the Sprint Race around the Brands Hatch GP circuit, the first race of round five of the championship.
The McAMS Yamaha rider lead home a team 1-2 echoing their qualifying performance, where the Australian had showed his immense pace with a lap record.
The Australian showed confidence leading the race after his storming start and any overtake was immediately fought back from. After surviving his own wobble, his team-mate Tarran Mackenzie had his own moment on the Yamaha, allowing O’Halloran the opportunity to pull out a small gap, which he managed to the line as the battle for position continued to roar on behind him .
‘The O Show’ now has five wins in seven and three in a row after his strong showing at Knockhill.
The exhilarating battle for second saw Tarran Mackenzie claim his first podium of the season.
Comeback complete for Mackenzie
With the five week break allowing his broken bones to heal and recent track experience after his belated World Superbike wildcard taking place over the summer Tarran Mackenzie looked ready to mount his title defence.
Fourth on Friday, became a front row start and then his first front row after putting in several passes at Druids, the most used overtaking spot. His final lunge saw him claim second from Tommy Bridewell to complete a perfect end to the 15 lap sprint for McAMS. Mackenzie is the tenth different rider to grace the podium this season.
The Scottish rider will also line up on pole tomorrow after setting the fastest lap in the race.
Tommy Bridewell qualified fourth but initially dropped back into a battle for sixth with Josh Brookes and Rory Skinner. The Ducati rider worked hard to push his way into the lead group and held his own, as high as second before being shuffled back a place in the closing stages.
His perseverance meant the Ducati rider was able to put a halt to the Yamaha dominance of recent podiums for Oxford Products Ducati.
Bradley Ray converted his first Brands front row into a fourth place finish as he was the last of the podium possibles to cross the line.
Where does the result leave the championship standings?
O’Halloran’s win sees him cut Bradley Ray’s lead to just four points, with Ray on a total of 229 after his off the podium finish.
Lee Jackson is their next closest rival in the standings on 181. Josh Brookes moves into the top eight showdown places after Danny Buchan was one of many riders not to finish the race.
On track it was Kyle Ryde who was the best of the rest leading the next group of riders over the line after a gap from his Rich Energy OMG Racing Yamaha team-mate.
MCE Ducati’s Brookes, who started from a much improved sixth on the grid, passed and pulled away from Skinner (Cheshire Molding FS-3 Kawasaki) to take sixth, with the Scottish rider next to see the flag in seventh.
Leon Haslam was close behind in eighth on the VisionTrack Kawasaki, keeping Lee Jackson (Cheshire Moldings FS-3 Kawasaki at bay in ninth.
Christian Iddon made up six places in the pace to complete the top ten for Buildbase Suzuki.
Old BSB Brands Hatch Lap Record: Josh Brookes – Yamaha – 1m 24.873s (2017)
New BSB Brands Hatch Lap Record: Jason O’Halloran – Yamaha – 1m 24.433s (2022)
2021 Race Winners:
Race 1: Tarran Mackenzie
Race 2: Jason O’Halloran
Race 3: Christian Iddon
Round 11 (The Showdown)
Race 1: Tarran Mackenzie
Race 2: Tommy Bridewell
Race 3: Jason O’Halloran
Peter Hickman was close behind in eleventh for FHO Racing BMW, before a gap until Danny Kent reached the line on the second Buildbase Suzuki.
The remaining points went to Tom Sykes as he continues to struggle to break into the top ten for MCE Ducati in 13th, Andrew Irwin in 14th for SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad and Josh Owens in 15th with Rapid CDH Kawasaki, his first points finish of the season.
Luke Mossey (TAG Racing Honda) and Honda Racing’s Tom Neave narrowly missed out in 16th and 17th respectively.
Luke Hopkins (Black Onyx Security Honda) made up the most places in the race, up ten positions to finish 19th.
Glenn Irwin who was the best of the Honda’s on the grid in the eleventh, and had changed his swingarm looking for answers to his issues. We never found out if he had found the solution as he was first to exit at turn two.
Chrissy Rouse didn’t even make it to the grid, pulling back into the pits after the warm-up lap.
Dan Linfoot and Storm Stacey also pulled back into the pits early in the race.
Of all the riders to crash out of contention Ryan Vickers had been doing the best, running inside the top ten when he lost the front end at Druids.