Jason O'Halloran is targeting regular top ten finishes ahead of his first full British Superbike season in 2009 aboard the SMT Honda.
The reigning Australian Supersport Champion was called up to race in the final three rounds of the 2008 British Superbike season after Tom Grant was badly injured in an accident at Knockhill.
Immediately on the cusp of the top ten positions around circuits he didn't know, O'Halloran went on to earn his place in the team for 2009 with a run to seventh place at Silverstone, a considerable season's best for the SMT squad.
As such, O'Halloran, who only made his Superbike debut in the Australian series this year, will make the full-time switch to Britain in 2009, labelling it as the series he believes will make a significant impact on his career.
“I am over the moon with the deal,” he told Crash.net
. “This year was my first year on Superbikes in Australia and my plan was to move to overseas next year, either in World Supersport or British Superbikes.
“The BSB is the next step. Here in Australia, the top riders are fast and competitive but there aren't as many of them. Here there are five or six top riders, but in Britain there can be around 15! There is just more strength in depth, plus bigger crowds, bigger exposure and just a bigger championship in general.”
Although O'Halloran admits that adapting to the circuits, as well as the inclement weather, will be a challenge in 2009, he has confidence that once the bike is to his liking, he can compete towards the front.
“They are a great team,” he adds. “We need to grow together and I'll have a lot to learn with this being my first year. But they are a professional team and they are enthusiastic, so we are on a steep learning curve and we'll perform really well next year.
“Learning the circuits will be one of the toughest things. If I can get out on track days, then that will be good, but once I am comfortable with the bike and the team then learning the circuits will be easier.”
With a formidable grid already forming, O'Halloran is keeping his predictions relatively modest, stating that it is his aim to be somewhere towards the front and regularly recording top ten finishes.
“I want to be somewhere near the front. The championship is very competitive with some great riders and teams, but I think if we perform at our best then we can be consistently inside the top ten. If we can run inside the top ten at every event then we will be happy with that.”