Round six began with Jason O’Halloran picking up where he left off last season at Thruxton where he dominated the meeting, winning all three races.

With qualifying and Saturday’s sprint race going his way, the Australian looked set for a double treble in Hampshire as he also slipstreamed his way past team-mate Tarran Mackenzie and fellow Yamaha rider Bradley Ray to win race two, thanks in part to his ability to pass fast and clean at Church.

Mackenzie had lead for much of the race distance but was aware of the duo laying in wait behind.

The reigning champion decided that a change of plan was needed , which is why he decided to go out front on the McAMS Yamaha:

‘In this race, I thought, I’m going to try and get the holeshot, I’m going to try and lead as many laps, I think I lead right up to lap 18 and they still weren’t coming by’.

‘I’m smarter than I look!’

 

The #1 plate holder credited his improved performance to the hard work and research into improving his performance put in by himself and his team:

‘I watched the race back between race one and race two and I saw what I did wrong, I didn’t go defensive on the right and I opened up the corner a bit too much, which allowed them to drag me to the line. Brad just said then “you held it tight which didn’t let me drag you to the line this time”, I’m smarter than I look! I managed to get the job done’.

The win moves Mackenzie up to 170 points and seventh in the showdown standings, with Kyle Ryde, who crashed out of race three just three points ahead. The Yamaha man managed to move into the showdown places earlier than expected but is not done yet:

‘I think it was great getting in the Showdown, that was kind of the goal for Snetterton, so to go it that early at Brands was great, but I want to keep moving up, forward, I don’t want to be on the cusp of eighth’.

With 24 podium points already since his return Mackenzie has the third most, with only O’Halloran and Ray holding more.

Not Ray’s day

Three podium finishes in one weekend is a step forward for Bradley Ray, who finished fourth twice and Brands Hatch, but given his pace and the close nature of the races he could easily have walked away a double winner on Sunday.

Two podiums was exactly what was needed to gain a definite place in the Showdown and he delivered, with clear improvements every race.

After coming incredibly close to victory in race tree Ray reflected:

‘It was another race like earlier to be honest, Taz came through and set a really good pace to be fair. Nothing too fast but enough to save a bit of tyre’.

Tyres and grip really came into focus in the closing laps with all three riders slipping and sliding to the chequered flag. The Rich Energy OMG rider had a big save at turn three late in the race:

‘I had to regroup myself a bit and attack again and managed to get good drive out of church, which lead me to lead the last lap. I gave it everything , I just didn’t have the drive up the back straight to pass Taz on the brakes’.

After dominating so much of the weekend it was O’Halloran who had to settle for third. It was still a successful weekend as earlier in the day he had become the first rider to qualify for the Showdown rounds.

Trying to save some tyre for later in the race contributed to a solid third, a twelfth consecutive podium visit:

‘I was trying to save as much tyre as I could… I thought I was doing a good job of saving the tyre. We made another change for that race, Just to try something, I felt like it was going to be better, but towards the end, I probably went a lap too soon. I though I had enough tyre to get to the front and maybe just get away by a couple of tenths, but I didn’t’.

Away from the podium it was once again Peter Hickman giving chase, until his mechanical saw him exit at the stage in the previous race were he had drifted back to a safe fourth for FHO Racing BMW, harming his chances of breaking into the Showdown places.

Glenn Irwin gained that fourth spot to be the top Honda. He out-charged the ever reliable Lee Jackson who was fifth for Cheshire Mouldings FS-3 Kawasaki. Leon Haslam dropped back to sixth for VisionTrack Kawasaki. 

Tommy Bridewell finally got to grips with his ‘bogey’ local track to finish seventh for Oxford Products Ducati.

Andrew Irwin was again charging through and picking up place after place to claim eighth for SYNETIQ BMW Motorrad, a positive finish to a weekend that could have been so much more had he been able to take up his front row start in the sprint race.

Rory Skinner had the hard job of adjusting back to BSB after his Moto2 wildcard at Silverstone, something he must repeat with another appearance due at the next round. He re-found his feet quickly to take a sold race and be hard at battle in a group which at one point had all the riders sown to 14th in with a chance at fifth.

Tom Sykes looked to be on for a best result of the season before dropping back into the pack for tenth on the MCE Ducati.

Christian Iddon was using freezer blocks and a tea towel to keep cool on the grid and he kept his cool in the race too, holding firm in eleventh despite competition for the place after he dropped back from the challenge for fifth.

Ryo Mizuno made up nine places on the Honda, finishing twelfth.

The remaining points went to Ryan Vickers (FHO Racing BMW with Attis Sports) in 13th, Takumi Takahashi (Honda Racing) in 14th and Danny Kent (Buildbase Suzuki) in 15th.

Hickman , along with Kyle Ryde, Danny Buchan, Josh Brookes, Tito Rabat, Dan Jones and Dean harrison all failed to go to race distance.