Jason O'Halloran says his Honda Racing squad can take pride in its efforts to get the new CBR1000RR SP2 up to speed in the MCE British Superbike championship as he and team-mate Dan Linfoot claimed a top five finish each at Brands Hatch Indy.

Having endured a solid but unspectacular debut for the new Fireblade at Donington Park where O'Halloran grabbed a pair of tenth place finishes, his Honda Racing squad have stepped up its development with the new bike using the full race weekend of data from Donington plus Friday's pre-event test at the Brands Hatch Indy track.

O'Halloran says changes to throttle mapping and set-up paid dividends in the second round of the 2017 BSB season as he grabbed seventh place in race one before stepping into the top five in race two.

The Australian rider narrowly missed out on fourth after being passed by Anvil Hire Yamaha's Josh Brookes at the final corner in race two but having finished 4.1s off race winner Luke Mossey he is thrilled to see a quick step up in race pace compared to the season opener.

"It has been a massive step forward from Donington Park," O'Halloran said. "We changed our throttle map strategy and the way that we are working with the bike and it has made a huge difference.

"We can work in a more normal way and can start to ride the bike again. We've still got work to do, for example the Honda has always struggled in colder conditions, we need to try and fix that because the first few rounds and the last few rounds are always cold.

"Once the temperature comes up and it gets warmer I think we will be fine but in the cold we may still struggle. We have got a test this week at Oulton Park so we will work on some things there and see if we can make things a bit better. All in all we are happy and got to be positive with the work we have done so far."

O'Halloran has also taken a confidence boost from performance improvements with the new Honda and feels if similar gains can be found when temperatures begin to rise in the summer rounds then podiums are a realistic goal.

"It is a massive gain for us and to still be in reach of the leaders at the end of a 30-lap race at Brands Hatch Indy compared to where we were two weeks ago is a really big positive," he said. "We'll keep working hard and I am sure we will be there soon.

"We are not far away from podiums and I think if the temperature was up today we would have been much closer than we were, which was already pretty close, so will work on getting the Honda to be better in the cold temperatures."

 

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