HONDA BACK ON THE MONEY

O’hal­lo­ran tops Snet­ter­ton test af­ter mak­ing big steps on Honda Fire­blade

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com OLI RUSHBY BSB RE­PORTER

Ja­son O’hal­lo­ran took Honda back to the top of the timesheets at last week’s MCE Bri­tish Su­per­bike test at Snet­ter­ton, just in time for this week­end’s fourth round at Knock­hill. The Aussie set a quick­est time of 1m 48.297 to place ahead of Glenn Ir­win and Jake Dixon to re-af­firm the progress the Louth-based squad are mak­ing with the all-new Honda Fire­blade CBR1000RR SP2.

While their road rac­ing coun­ter­parts were strug­gling with the bike on the Isle of Man and also in World Su­per­bikes, O’hal­lo­ran demon­strated the clear strides the BSB team have made with the ma­chine af­ter his podium at Oul­ton Park last time out and now be­lieves the team’s first win of the sea­son isn’t far away.

“To be hon­est, I was hang­ing it out a lot at Oul­ton to do what we did there,” O’hal­lo­ran told MCN. “But, we made a small im­prove­ment with the throt­tle con­nec­tion at a test at Knock­hill a cou­ple of weeks ago and the guys made another step for­ward be­fore Snet­ter­ton last week.

“It’s not per­fect, and I’m not sure it ever will be, but we’re get­ting close enough now where we can ride to a pretty good level.”

While the team are still await­ing many of the new bike’s race parts, they tested a new rear link­age at Snet­ter­ton last week which proved to be a big im­prove­ment for O’hal­lo­ran, es­pe­cially in the colder con­di­tions.

“We started out with the bike how it was at Oul­ton and then moved on to test­ing the new link. We’ve strug­gled the last cou­ple of years with grip and we have two dif­fer­ent link op­tions. I like one of them, but it doesn’t work too well in the cold so we have to go back to the other one, but with this new op­tion it’s sort of in the di­rec­tion I pre­fer and gives us a lot more grip. It might not im­prove our lap time much in the hot but it could do when it gets cold, which should make us stronger to­wards the end of the year.”

Now for the first time the Aussie is start­ing to think about re­turn­ing to the top step of the ros­trum, 12 months af­ter his de­but vic­tory at Snet­ter­ton.

“I don’t mind Knock­hill, but it’s not been one of my strong­est tracks. How­ever, the bike we’ve got now will work much bet­ter at Knock­hill than I’ve had a bike work­ing in the past. I’ve got ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion go­ing there as I know if I can get a strong re­sult there I can be re­ally strong at the places that fol­low like Snet­ter­ton and push for our first win of the year.”

While O’hal­lo­ran’s side of the garage is clearly mak­ing progress, his team-mate Dan Lin­foot con­tin­ues to strug­gle with the fly-by-wire throt­tle at Snet­ter­ton. He fin­ished the test eighth fastest.

‘It’s not per­fect – I’m not sure it will be, but we’re close’ JA­SON O’HAL­LO­RAN

Aussie O’hal­lo­ran has made big steps on the new Blade

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