Honda Racing will retain Dan Linfoot and Jason O’Halloran for the 2018 British Superbike Championship as they look to continue making progress with the latest generation Fireblade.
The new-for-2017 bike proved difficult for race teams across the world, but the BSB effort managed to buck the trend and enjoy success with both Linfoot and O’Halloran towards the end of the year.
O’Halloran took numerous podiums to secure a Showdown space before Linfoot took the Fireblade’s first wet and dry wins at Silverstone and Oulton Park.
However, with both riders adamant there’s more to come from the bike, there’s hope Honda can present a more consistent title fight next year.
The squad has an extensive winter testing programme planned to iron out any remaining niggles with the machine and further improve their chances.
“I’m happy to be staying with Honda for the 2017 season,” Linfoot said. “It’s been a tough year, and the lows have been low and the highs have been high, but if we can find the consistency we had in 2016, to firstly get the Showdown position nailed and secondly to be in a higher position in terms of podium credits hopefully we can fight for the title in the final Showdown races.
“I can’t say I wasn’t tempted to go elsewhere, but this bike is going to come good and I’d rather be sat on it when it does than someone else be on it. We’ve put in a lot of hard work to get where we are so it made sense to stay and continue that.
O’Halloran added: “This year has been frustrating for everybody, we came into the year off the back of a really strong 2016 and expected to challenge for the championship but we knew that would be difficult early on. We had a lot of work to do with the new bike and that meant we had an up and down rollercoaster year, but towards the end of the season we made a lot of progress and I was just 0.1 off the lap record in the final race of the year and half a second from the win.
“This year turned in to a season of testing, and I’m now confident that with some really early testing this year which is something we haven’t had in the past, we can fight for the title next year.”
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