HONDA RACING BSB. SUNDAY, 26 JUNE 2016
Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot made his return to the British Superbike podium today, not once but twice, aboard his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade at Knockhill in Scotland.
Starting the first race in seventh place, a good start off the line saw Linfoot edge his way through the pack. By half race distance he had moved into second place and claimed the fastest lap of the race. Chipping away and making a move on Leon Haslam, the Yorkshireman took the race lead and a battle for first place commenced.
With just four laps to go of the 30-lap race, Haslam re-took the lead and although pushing hard Linfoot wasn’t able to pass, and crossed the line 0.2 seconds behind in second place, to take his first podium of 2016.
The rain came for race two and saw a wet race unfold at the 1.3-mile circuit. Starting from pole position, Linfoot got a flying start and set about creating a gap behind him. A tense and nail-biting race unfolded over the 30 laps, which saw Linfoot hold the lead for nine laps in the tricky conditions.
Dropping back to third place the Yorkshireman continued to push hard on his CBR machine and managed to make a heroic move in the final stages to regain the lead. However eventual race winner Shane Byrne made a move and Linfoot dropped to second place. A final last corner move saw James Ellison come through and Linfoot crossed the line in third place, taking his second podium of the day and his first ever-double BSB podium.
Race one was a frustrating outing for team-mate Jason O’Halloran who qualified on the front row in second place. Getting a good start it was looking like a podium finish could be on the cards but by lap five he’d dropped to fourth place when the safety car was deployed.
After the safety car, O’Halloran wasn’t able to regroup and lost places to eventually cross the line ninth. Race two saw the O’Show start from 12th place on the grid and keeping his cool in the wet conditions, and using his wet skills, he masterfully made his way through the pack aboard his Fireblade to cross the line in fifth place. O’Halloran is sitting sixth in the overall standings.
Honda’s third rider Jenny Tinmouth celebrated 100 British Superbike race starts today as she took to the grid for the first 30-lap race. Continuing to be consistent with her lap times and knocking seconds off, Tinmouth finished race one in 25th place and got to grips with the CBR in the wet finishing the second race 20th.
The Honda Racing team will now return to its Louth-based workshop and prepare all-three Fireblades for the next round of the championship, which takes place at Snetterton in Norfolk on 8-10 July.
Havier Beltran, team manager: Overall I am extremely happy with how this weekend has gone for the team - Knockhill needed to be and was a turning point for us. Two podiums for Dan is that turning point and what we have been working towards as a team for both Dan and Jason. The results today will really boost the whole team and highlights again that we have the pace and also the potential to still be able to be running at the front. We have a great opportunity for both riders and the Fireblade to be constantly at the sharp end now, so we have to build on this weekend and keep the momentum going. Jason has shown some great pace and speed, and being on the front row for the first race was encouraging. In the second race starting 12th and finishing fifth was a great move for him and I’m pleased with the result, but we now need to iron out some issues and make sure we’re ready to hit the ground running come Snetterton in a few weeks time. Jenny had her 100th BSB start today, but struggled here a little, it’s a physically hard track and this has shown a little over the weekend. But she continues to push and continues to work on her lap times. She finished both races today and she works hard, so I know it’s coming we just have to keep chipping away.
Dan Linfoot #4: I am happy with how this weekend has gone and to get my first podium of 2016 in race one in second place was great and then to get my first double BSB podium with race two is even better. Yes of course in racing you always want to win and today again we were so close. I felt quietly confident after this morning’s warm up and in the past we’ve seemed to be quite steady on a Friday, so I pulled my finger out this round and made sure we had two good practice sessions. A huge thanks to my crew, Darren, Ben and Calum, they made a change to the CBR last night and have worked so hard all weekend to give me the package I had today in both races. I’m so happy with the Fireblade and it worked so well in both the wet and dry conditions, and goes to show that it still has the pace to keep us in the mix. I really enjoyed both races and want to keep this momentum now for the rest of the season and hope I can take my first BSB race win soon.
Jenny Tinmouth #20: I’ve had a really good weekend at Knockhill; I was a little disappointed with qualifying yesterday as I wanted to go faster in the dry but struggled a little, which I think is more my style and the physical nature of this circuit. Race one I celebrated my 100th British Superbike race start, which is quite good going and chuffed to bits with that, so we had a little celebration with the team. The race itself was good, the lap times were good and I am consistently faster round here than last year, which is really positive. The second race was much better; I had a good start and managed to have a little battle with some of the others in my group. We found a really good wet setting in FP3 so it was mega to try that and get a full wet race, so I can get used to riding the Fireblade in trickier conditions. I’m leaving here happy and raring to get back to it again at Snetterton in a few weeks time. Also congratulations to Dan and his side of the garage, it's a great result for them this weekend!
Jason O’Halloran #22: It’s been a bit of a tough day for us if I’m honest, race one was difficult and we seemed to struggle all weekend with the dry setting and that was similar in race one. I just concentrated on finishing as best I could to salvage as many points as possible and set about making some changes for race two. Of course the second race was wet and although we have good wet settings starting back on the fourth row is really difficult in the opening laps. I felt like I had decent pace in the middle of the race and I could always see the leaders, I thought I might be able to get fourth or fifth, but did seem to struggle sometimes with entry grip. But to come from 12th and finish fifth in those conditions is good and I’m confident with the CBR in the wet. It’s been a good weekend for the team and huge congratulations to Dan and his side with the two podiums; it’s a great result for them and shows that the potential is there! So we just need to work hard for the next race and hope it all comes together for us at Snetterton.