Honda UK announce return of Linfoot and O’Halloran for 2017
Honda (UK) has announced that Dan Linfoot and Jason O’Halloran will remain with Honda Racing, spearheading the team’s assault on the 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship aboard the all-new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
Announced today (Sunday) at Motorcycle Live at The NEC in Birmingham, both Linfoot and O’Halloran are proven contenders in the Championship, having scored 13 podiums between them this year and O’Halloran taking his maiden MCE BSB win with the pair making the Showdown six.
Linfoot’s re-signing marks his third year with Honda UK, after he has continued to show his potential and has been so close to securing his debut MCE BSB win. His help developing the new Fireblade, alongside team-mate O’Halloran, will be crucial when the team puts the all-new Fireblade through its paces at the first scheduled test in the New Year.
Linfoot said: “I’m really happy to remain with Honda Racing for my third year. When I first signed in 2015 it was always in the back of my mind that I’d like to remain until the new Fireblade was available and I’m so pleased that this is now possible. Next year will be an exciting time for the team with the new CBR after eight years with the old model, and I’m excited to continue to help with the development.
“We’ve had two strong years with the last model Fireblade, so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do on the new one and I’m certain we can be even stronger than we have been. Reflecting on this year, I’m happy with our performance, of course I would have liked to have secured my first race win, but I know that will come, maybe some more podiums, but all in all, it was a great year for us and puts us in a good place going into the New Year. I can’t wait to get testing, try the new Blade and get the season underway!”
The new season marks the tenth year O’Halloran will be working with the manufacturer. He started his career with Honda Australia, before moving to England where he has been with Honda (UK) for seven years. The O’Show has ridden three generations of the Fireblade and has been a pivotal part in the development of the CBR in the British Championship.
O’Halloran said: “I’m really pleased to be back with Honda for 2017, this year was successful for us; I finished fifth in the championship and it’s the first time I’ve completed a full Superbike season. I’m really looking forward to next year, I know we’re going to be stronger with the experience and what we have learnt from this season.
“I will have the same crew behind me, the same team and we’ll have the new Fireblade, which is exciting. I have raced the last model Fireblade since 2008, which is a long stint and have worked with Honda on the development, so it’s an exciting time with the new CBR – I can’t wait to ride it now! 2017 will be my tenth year with Honda, three with Honda Australia and seven with Honda (UK), so it’s a bit of a landmark in my career and I’m happy to continue with Honda for another year.
“I have high hopes for 2017 and think I can be a strong challenger for the title. This year we made the Showdown, had my first race win and finished on the podium seven times – so with that in mind, next year is going to be a good one!”
The Honda Racing team is now awaiting delivery of the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 and is looking forward to the opening round at Donington Park.
Nick Campolucci, Head of Motorcycles, Honda (UK) commented: “We are delighted to re-sign Dan and Jason for a third year in the MCE British Superbike Championship. Over the last two Superbike seasons they have both shown their potential and their help with the machine development has been crucial.
“I’m looking forward to seeing them ride the new Fireblade for the first time and can’t wait to hear their feedback. Both have proved they were capable of being competitive aboard an ‘old’ machine, so once they have equal machinery and set-up to their competitors underneath them, I think they will be unstoppable.
“I’m pleased both Dan and Jason wanted to stay with us for another year; it shows great faith and commitment from both riders in the team and also Honda. I think we’re in for a very exciting 2017 season and I can’t wait to see how the boys get on. While Jenny won’t be racing with us in 2017, everyone at Honda (UK) thanks her for the excitement and enthusiasm that she’s brought over the past two years. I’m sure this won’t be the last time we see her at Honda Racing in some capacity!”
Havier Beltran, Honda Racing team manager commented: “To have both Dan and Jason with us again next year is great news and it shows they have faith in the team and also in Honda. They have worked so hard to develop the ‘old’ Fireblade and have shown they can be competitive, and it’s great to reward them with the all-new CBR for the new season.
“The new year marks Jason’s tenth year with Honda and seven with Honda (UK), which is a huge milestone for both us and Jason and I don’t think any other manufacturer in the series can boast those credentials. He also took his maiden win this season – I’m sure there’ll be more to come and I’m looking forward to sharing more podiums and wins with him next year.
“With Dan his potential has shone this year and he has been so close to securing his first win, I know he’ll be one to watch next year and a serious title contender. We are all now looking forward to starting our testing schedule and kicking off 2017!
“Again, with Jenny, she’s been fantastic to work with and her drive and determination is something else, she never gives up. She had a great year this year beating her personal bests and improving at each round, we’d like to wish her all the best and I’m sure we’ll be seeing her again soon!”