Jason O'Halloran says he has surprised himself and the Honda Racing team by grabbing second place on the grid for the 2016 MCE British Superbike season opener at Silverstone after going through a lengthy return from a broken leg.
With the majority of focus placed upon Leon Haslam returning to BSB after seven years in World Superbikes, O'Halloran's own comeback has gone under the radar somewhat with the Australian battling back from a broken femur and hand suffered last August at Thruxton.
The bad injuries were sustained in a collision during qualifying at the Hampshire circuit which ended his season and after securing an impressive qualifying result on his return to racing it has ensured the episode has come full circle.
“It was the first qualifying session for me in quite a while so it was a little stressful at the start with the in-between conditions,” O'Halloran said. “The boys have done a great job this year on the Honda, it is a lot more rideable rather than fighting it so I am a lot more comfortable especially after such a long period of time off the bike with the injury.
“To comeback and have the speed so early in the season has been a surprise and surprised the team a little bit too. We've got something to build on and I feel confident and comfortable with the setting we have. For sure these boys alongside me and others will be strong too. Two races tomorrow I'm really looking forward to getting two races under my belt.”
Assessing his chances in the season openers at the Northamptonshire track O'Halloran is targeting solid and clean results to ignite his Showdown challenge which had been cruelly taken away from him last year due to the injury.
“I feel relaxed this year and I am calmer than last year,” he said. “Since the first day back on the bike I've felt good so we will see if we can keep that up and have two strong races tomorrow to keep smiling.”