Honda Racing’s Linfoot, Tinmouth and O’Halloran contended with wet weather conditions at this weekend’s MCE British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park.
Race one got underway as rain poured and saw Jason O’Halloran on the front row of the grid in third place, with Linfoot just behind in fourth and Jenny Tinmouth 26th. Quick off the line, O’Halloran and Linfoot slotted their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblades into second and third places.
A nail-biting race unfolded in the tricky conditions, and by the eighth lap Linfoot had passed his team-mate. The Honda Racing pair were holding onto third and fourth places, until Lap 15 where Linfoot claimed the lead. With a margin of only 0.26 seconds, the Yorkshireman sorely missed out his claim for a his maiden Superbike victory crashing out unhurt in the closing stages of the race.
O’Halloran completed a solid race crossing the line fourth and collecting vital championship points, while Tinmouth came home just outside the top-20 in 22nd place.
The team worked hard to prepare Linfoot’s bike for Race Two, taking second place on the grid to start. O’Halloran took sixth and Tinmouth 27th. Declared wet, tyre choice would prove crucial over the 18-laps of the 4.332km Cheshire circuit. Getting a good start off the line Linfoot moved quickly into the front running, but crash out again to retire altogether. The 27-year-old put the incident down to bad tyre choice,
“I made a small mistake in race one, which ended that for me, and race two was down to a bad tyre choice. All-round it’s been a bad day, not just with the conditions and the results, but also with missed opportunities. I will take some positives from today, as I rode well and had a good feeling on the CBR, so I have to take that with me to Brands Hatch.”
Team-mate O’Halloran eventually crossed the line eighth, collecting further points. The Australian is now fifth in the overall standings. Tinmouth came home inside the top 20 in 19th position. Team manager, Havier Beltran said of the local rider’s performance,
“Jenny enjoyed getting to grips with her machine in the wet conditions and I think it has done her the world of good in these conditions. She’s happy to leave her home round with two finishes, as I know that she was concerned about crashing here.”
The rider stayed upbeat about her progress, too, commenting “I did enjoy both of the races and had a lot fun just learning to control the slide and learning how the Fireblade feels in wet conditions. I always love riding here, mainly as it is my home round, but it’s also a fun circuit to ride. I’m leaving here happy enough with the finishes and looking forward to the next round now.”
The Honda Racing squad will now return to the workshop and start preparing the CBR’s for the third round of the championship, which takes place at Brands Hatch 20-22 May.