McAMS Yamaha’s Jason O'Halloran claimed the top spot in the opening Bennetts British Superbike Championship SUPERPICKS free practice session of 2021 this afternoon at Oulton Park, displacing Andrew Irwin from the top on his final flying lap.
The damp session began with Christian Iddon setting the early pace for the VisionTrack Ducati team ahead of O’Halloran and Glenn Irwin, however the times continued to tumble and before long Andrew Irwin had fired himself ahead at the top for SYNETIQ BMW.
As Andrew Irwin moved fastest, reigning champion Josh Brookes had moved into second positon, just ahead of his teammate and the second SYNETIQ BMW of Danny Buchan.
The timer was counting down and at 15 minutes it was O’Halloran who had claimed the position at the top of the timing screens, over a second ahead of Andrew Irwin with the VisionTrack Ducati pairing of Iddon and Brookes then Tommy Bridewell completing the top five.
Bridewell was on a sequence of laps and then he took his turn to be heading the session for the Oxford Products Racing Ducati team, edging out O’Halloran, rookie Rory Skinner and Glenn Irwin.
In the final ten minutes, the position at the top continued to change as Iddon moved back ahead, before Buchan put himself into the leading position. It soon changed a lap later as Danny Kent hit the top of the times however; it was short lived as Andrew Irwin had moved back ahead.
It was O’Halloran though who set the time that would be the benchmark, 0.030s ahead of brothers Andrew Irwin and Glenn Irwin, with Buchan and Kent completing the top five.
Josh Owens had an impressive session in the damp conditions to put the Rapid CDH Racing Kawasaki into sixth place, just ahead of Bradley Ray and Iddon. Bridewell held ninth place just ahead of Lee Jackson whilst Joe Francis and Brookes completed the morning top 12.
A crash for Xavi Forés at Shell and Dan Linfoot at Hizzys gives them work to do in free practice two if they are to make the SUPERPICKS 12 to qualify directly for tomorrow’s Q2 session.
Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, SUPERPICKS Free Practice 1:
1. Jason O'Halloran (McAMS Yamaha) 1m:46.353s
2. Andrew Irwin (SYNETIQ BMW) +0.030s
3. Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) +0.352s
4. Danny Buchan (SYNETIQ BMW) +0.481s
5. Danny Kent (Buildbase Suzuki) +0.858s
6. Josh Owens (Rapid CDH Racing Kawasaki) +0.974s
7. Bradley Ray (Rich Energy OMG Racing BMW) +1.210s
8. Christian Iddon (VisionTrack Ducati) +1.330s
9. Tommy Bridewell (Oxford Products Racing Ducati) +1.401s
10. Lee Jackson (FS-3 Kawasaki) +1.664s
11. Joe Francis (iForce Lloyd and Jones BMW) +1.704s
12. Josh Brookes (VisionTrack Ducati) +2.318s