BSB 2017: Round Nine race report
Silverstone | 8–10 September
Team Honda saw a weekend of firsts in the ninth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Silverstone, with Jason O’Halloran securing the final spot in the Showdown and teammate Dan Linfoot recording a BSB win.
O’Halloran snagged his place in the all-important Showdown during the third and final race of the day, but it wasn’t without drama. Disaster struck in the opening lap when the Aussie crashed out amid the tricky conditions. O’Halloran was forced to watch from the sidelines; two of his closest rivals followed suit, and the final result meant he had done just enough to secure the final spot in the Showdown.
“The championship almost starts again now with the Showdown. It’s all to play for really,” O’Halloran said. “I’m looking forward to Oulton Park this weekend and to see if we can challenge these boys for podiums. And a race win would be nice!”
Linfoot went from zero to hero by the end of the day. After struggling in the first two races, the Yorkshireman glided through the pack on lap one of the final race – neither deterred by the conditions nor intimidated by reigning BSB Champion Shane Byrne.
“With the riders crashing in front of me, I had to be careful, but once I was settled I was able to push and made it to the front,” Linfoot said.
The race was red flagged at over two-thirds race distance, meaning Linfoot was able to claim his maiden British Superbike Championship win. “Three years of trying and we get that first win!”
The results from the weekend give the all-new 2017 Fireblade its first race win, its first qualifying pole position and its first appearance in the Showdown. It was a weekend to celebrate and made for a fitting tribute to the bike’s 25th anniversary year.
Honda Racing team manager Havier Beltran was full of praise for the performances: “I’m just over the moon for the boys and also that we’re celebrating the first win for the all-new 2017 Fireblade. What we have achieved this year in the championship… I’m very, very happy!”
The team will now head back to its Louth-based workshop and prepare the Fireblades for the next round of the championship at Oulton Park, which takes place 15-17 September as the Showdown gets underway.