Jason O'Halloran has given Honda a timely boost by topping the in-season Snetterton test as the MCE British Superbike championship gears up for its return to action at Knockhill in less than two weeks.

The Australian rider, who claimed the new Fireblade CBR1000RR SP2's first BSB rostrum in race two at Oulton Park in May, produced a 1m 48.297s in the final session at the Snetterton test to set the standard for Honda Racing.

After Honda's struggles in World Superbikes and ongoing troubles on the road racing scene, O'Halloran's timesheet topper will come as key momentum ahead of the BSB season resumption.

While O'Halloran's time was a stretch away from the outright lap record at Snetterton, his best lap would have been good enough for second place on the grid going on the 2016 BSB qualifying times at the track.

Despite setting a lap time within one-tenth of O'Halloran, Be Wiser Ducati's Glenn Irwin couldn't pinch top spot at the test but did continue his impressive showing fresh from his North West 200 victory on debut with the Italian machinery.

Jake Dixon, another rider sharp after racing away from BSB with a ninth place finish on his WorldSBK wildcard at Donington Park, claimed third spot on the combined times for RAF Reserves Kawasaki and ahead of mentor and defending BSB champion Shane Byrne.

In the opening session Byrne topped the times in dry but very windy conditions at Snetterton before Moto Rapido Ducati rider John Hopkins became a surprise timesheet topper in the short second session.

Jakub Smrz placed the Lloyd & Jones/PR Racing BMW fifth in the final session and ahead of Hopkins, JG Speedfit Kawasaki's Luke Mossey and Honda's Dan Linfoot. With a depleted BSB field with a number of teams and riders competing at the Isle of Man TT - while Leon Haslam only completed laps in the second session - it saw the rest of the pack close up.

Quattro Plant FS-3 Kawasaki's Billy McConnell claimed ninth in the final session ahead of former BSB podium winner James Westmoreland on the Gearlink Kawasaki and former BSB race winner Tommy Bridewell on the Team WD-40 Kawasaki. BSB rookie Bradley Ray on the Buildbase Suzuki completed to Superbike contenders.

The full BSB grid will return to action on the 16-18 June for round four at Knockhill.