The Honda Racing team got to work with the all-new Fireblade this weekend as Dan Linfoot and Jason O’Halloran both found some improvements with their new bikes.
Linfoot and O’Halloran both had a strong opening race, slashing seconds off their practice times. Both riders made up places during the opening laps and continued to improve throughout the 20-lap race.
O’Halloran eventually crossed the line tenth position at the end of race one.
Content with 10th, O’Halloran said: “Race one was a huge learning curve for us, and the 20 laps were the longest run I’ve had on the new bike. The boys have been working hard trying to improve the power and engine braking and for race one it felt a lot better and I was happy with tenth”
In the second race O’Halloran and Linfoot were battling once more on the circuit, with the Australian once again getting the better of his teammate and crossing the line in tenth.
Speaking about his day, O’Halloran added: “Race two, although was the same result it was a positive outcome for us. I lost a lot of time in the start, about three seconds, but I got my head down and pushed hard to make up places. For the rest of the race there was a big improvement and the times were half a second faster per lap, than race one!
“The CBR felt more comfortable and I was able to push, which I hadn’t felt was possible before. We have a light at the end of the tunnel and I think with another step like today, we can probably move up into fifth/sixth position – there is more work to do but I am feeling a little more confident.”
It was around the half-way point that the Yorkshireman had found his way up tenth but it was not to be as O’Halloran got the better of him.
Linfoot struggled with rear tyre chatter towards the end of the race, and ended up crossing the line in 12th.
Speaking about his weekend, Linfoot said: “Overall this weekend we have made progress and have constantly improved. Of course I would have liked to finish slightly higher than 11th and 12th but we still have lot to learn and we’re not too far away from unlocking the true potential of the all-new Fireblade.
“It’s not a huge step today, but we have made a step forward! We need to take the data collected from the weekend, review it all and work towards Brands Hatch.”
The team will now be looking ahead to round two of the championship, which takes place over the Easter Weekend at Brands Hatch.