Jason O'Halloran rebounded from a retirement in the opening race to secure points finish at Croft on his debut in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
The Australian was called into the SMT Honda team to replace Tom Grant but quickly got to grips with the Croft circuit, despite not seeing the venue prior to taking to the track for Friday practice.
Despite losing time in the final practice session when an oil seal failed on the bike, O'Halloran managed to qualify in a solid 15th place on the grid, but the opening race ended in disappointment when he was forced to retire after sliding off at the Complex.
Race two started in tough fashion when the traction control on the bike failed and O'Halloran slipped to 17th at the start as a result. However, he battled hard to make up places and as he got used to the characteristics of the bike, he was able to work his way into the points on the final lap – taking the flag in a well-earned 15th place.
“It's been a typical up and down weekend for the SMT Honda team but we're delighted with how Jason performed and he thoroughly deserved his first points in the British Superbike Championship,” team boss Robin Croft said. “The damp weather and bike problem on Saturday hurt us as Jason needed all the dry track time he could get but he never stopped giving 100 per cent and he's impressed everyone with his speed and application.
“It was a really slow crash in the first race and there was no damage on the bike but on his sighting lap for the second race, Jason lost all revs and power so he had to turn the traction control off. Running a full race distance without it made his life difficult but it was a strong ride and he was comfortably running with riders who have a lot more experience on the circuit so we're happy with the result. We've got a test day at Silverstone on Tuesday, in preparation for the next round and we can't wait to get there and make further strides forward.”