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This weekend the ninth round of the MCE British Superbike Championship took place with a triple-header event at Oulton Park for the Showdown decider. A sterling effort by Honda Racing’s Dan Linfoot saw him secure a spot in the all-important Showdown.
Starting the first race of the day from sixth place aboard his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, Linfoot knew what he had to do and set about tracking down the lead group, settling into fourth place.
In the final stages of the race, second place contender Shane Byrne stopped with a technical problem, which moved the Honda rider into third place to claim his third Superbike podium of the season.
Going into the final race Linfoot needed eight points to reserve a place in the Showdown, which meant finishing eighth or higher. It was a nail-biting 18-lap race for the Honda Racing squad and the Knaresborough rider was up in fourth place until the safety car was deployed.
In the final stages of the race and after the safety car deployment, Linfoot had moved down into fifth place and a final last lap push by James Ellison saw the Honda rider cross the line sixth and claim the final Showdown spot.
Due to the Showdown rules and with Linfoot’s podium credits he sits fifth in the championship standings with 507 points.
Meanwhile Julien Da Costa produced two top-20 finishes aboard his CBR, after a difficult weekend adjusting to the bike and also to the 4.332km Oulton Park circuit.
Jenny Tinmouth continued to make progress on her Fireblade machine at her home circuit, breaking personal lap records and finishing within the top-25 in 22nd and 25th places.
The Honda Racing team will now head to Assen in the Netherlands, (18-20 September) as the championship enters the tenth round of the series. The squad will be down to two riders with Linfoot and Tinmouth as Da Costa will be competing at the Bol d’Or 24-hour race with the Honda Endurance Racing team.
The Showdown top-six:
Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
Shane Byrne (Kawasaki)
James Ellison (Kawasaki)
Tommy Bridewell (BMW)
Dan Linfoot (Honda)
Michael Laverty (BMW)
Sixth place in the final race just moved us into the Showdown and it’s a huge relief to walk away from this round with a place! Race one helped being on the podium and scoring a chunk of points. I’m so happy to have placed a Honda in the Showdown after Jason being ruled out through injury and also my injury at the start of the season. Hopefully now we can go into the final three rounds with a little less pressure on our shoulders and try to fight for some more podiums.
The first race was really good; I got a mega start and held a consistent pace for the whole race, so really chuffed and it was much better than yesterday’s race. The final race, I got a good start again and had good pace to start off with, but after the safety car Mackenzie went wide and I ran off onto the grass and unfortunately lost some time there. But overall it’s been a good weekend all round, I broke some personal bests and now really looking forward to Assen – it’s a great circuit and always has a great atmosphere.
The last race was better than the previous ones this weekend and I’m happy to have been going faster. It has been a difficult weekend just adjusting to the CBR and also Oulton Park, but I have enjoyed the weekend and being back in BSB. I’m looking forward to having another go at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, but will miss Assen as I will back with the Honda Endurance Racing team at the Bol d’Or.
Julien Da Costa
For Dan to be in the Showdown is where our targets and aims were at the start of the year and with his injury it did put us on the back foot a little. But I’m really pleased for Dan and the team that we’re in there and now we can hopefully try and consolidate and get some strong results to push Dan further up the leaderboard.
It's been a tough weekend for Jenny and Julien. It’s been great to have Julien with us and I know it’s been a tough circuit for him and thanks to him for coming and testing a few things for us.
It's been difficult for Jenny, but she's beaten her personal best lap times and lap race distances again, and it’s more positives. Oulton Park is a circuit where you have to try hard, but you can go backwards pretty quickly. We’re looking forward to Assen and Silverstone where we have some fast and flowing circuits and hope things will be a bit different.
Havier Beltran - Honda Racing team manager