Jason O’Halloran has marched right back into the 2020 British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch with a masterclass performance in the first race of the season finale at Brands Hatch.

The Australian, who has slowly been working his way into contention this year across the shortened six-round calendar, diced tooth and nail with all four of his title rivals - Josh Brookes, Christian Iddon, Glenn Irwin and Tarran Mackenzie - before breaking away with an astonishing turn of pace in the latter laps for his third win of the year.

Prior to that though it could have gone any which way with each - other than Mackenzie - swapping the lead between them for much of the race, before O’Halloran took control, lapping almost a second quicker in the final revolutions.

Brookes led initially off the line from pole position, just holding off a lightning getaway from Irwin, who surged from seventh to second, before immediately putting pressure on the Australian ahead. Irwin assumed the lead from Brookes on lap four, whose progress would be stuttered as he was steadily picked off, leaving him on the cusp of the hunt rather than in the midst of it.

Instead, it was Iddon and O’Halloran that took up the fight against Irwin, the trio engaging in some enthralling action as they left nothing to chance against one another.

Eventually though Irwin began to face, his place in the top three battle assumed by a charging Mackenzie, up from ninth on the grid as the McAMS Yamaha rider came on strong. However, in his efforts to wrest second from Iddon, they would allow O’Halloran - who passed the Ducati rider on lap 13 - to escape at the critical moment, the Australian romping away for a timely win.

After a fierce battle Iddon held off Mackenzie in an impressive showing as he put his title credentials out on the line too.

Brookes recovered back to fourth, ahead of Danny Buchan, with Irwin labouring home in sixth and possibly saying goodbye to his title hopes now. 

In the overall standings, Brookes still leads but now seven points up on O’Halloran - who starts on pole for race two - while Iddon is nine points behind his team-mate. Irwin is 21 points behind with 2 races remaining.

 

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