What a roller coaster of a year 2017 has turned out to be, from receiving the new Fireblade, to turning up at Round one of the British Superbike championship at Donington Park to now being at Round 9 and the final round before the Showdown (top six title fighters) period starts.

Jason O'Halloran

Jason O’Halloran

It has been a rewarding but frustrating year for me, rewarding in the sense of where we have come from with the new Fireblade, 10-10 at Donington Park and around 30 seconds from the winner, to now being in the top five every weekend and around one or two seconds from the winner. But it’s frustrating in the sense that we haven’t been able to find the last piece of the puzzle to start winning races and stand on the podium more regularly.

BSB is one of the toughest championships in the world, the tracks are technical, fast and a little wild, the riders are fast and experienced and every year there are more and more teams stepping up to the plate. The rules in BSB allow a private outfit to compete with the manufacturer teams week in and week out, which is why BSB is one of the most competitive championships around.

Jason O'Halloran

I currently sit fourth in the championship standings, 15 points from third position, and it has been one tough year to get to this point. I have given my maximum every single weekend to make sure we collect as many points as possible. The showdown is the first target of the year for every one, it puts you in a position to fight for the title, but it also puts you at the front of the que when you are looking for a job the following year.

With so many guys looking to join the BSB grid either on their way back from the world championship or on their way to the world championship, there is no time to be complacent, it’s a constant hustle to keep your place. I have managed three podiums so far this season and finished every race to date within the top 10. After 16 races I am 41 points from the championship leader.

We now head to Silverstone for a triple header weekend and the final three races to decide who makes the top six cut and who misses out – I love racing at Silverstone, it’s fast, flowing and flat which suits the Honda. It is normally a close race with a big group, similar to Phillip Island races because the long straights and flowing nature don’t really allow for a break away. I can’t wait to get there and get the weekend underway, it’s one of my favourite circuits and I’d love to take my first win of the season there.

Jason O'Halloran

Jason O’Halloran

Other than BSB I have been pretty flat out, I competed in the Suzuka 8 Hours for Sakurai Honda where we finished in 10th place, I headed to Japan for a test a few weeks before the event which started a six week period for me where I didn’t stop. I had Suzuka test, Cadwell Park test, Brands Hatch race, Suzuka 8 Hours, Thruxton, Cadwell Park race all together so it was a fairly full on period.

I had such a good time in Japan this year, I absolutely loved it. I would love to get the opportunity to ride a factory bike there, but the Sakurai team was fantastic. I managed to do a 2:08s lap on a race tyre which at the time was competitive against the factory teams, and every single member of the team gave 100 per cent from start to finish. I couldn’t have asked for more from them, I’d love to go back next year and give it another shot.

August and September is a fairly stressful time for us as riders, things are starting to move for 2018 and everyone is trying to find their place for next season. I’m not sure what 2018 has in store for me yet, I have some good options and together with my team of people we will try and pick the best path possible.

Until my next column, keep it safe.

-Jason

Jason O'Halloran

Jason O’Halloran

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