To absolutely no-one’s surprise, Honda Racing have retained the services of Dan Linfoot and Jason O’Halloran for their attack on the 2018 MCE British Superbike title.
It will mark O’Halloran’s 11th year - you get less for armed robbery - as an official Honda rider, his eighth with Honda UK, and for Linfoot the new season will be his fourth consecutive year with the Louth-based team.
“It’s great to be with Honda again for what will be my fourth consecutive year with the team. Consistency is what I have always wanted with a team and the ability to build on the previous years results and this is what I have been able to do with Honda,” said Linfoot.
“We spent this year developing the all-new Fireblade and all the hard work paid off during the final part of the year when I was rewarded with my first race win – I waited so long for a win and then a second one comes along the week after! It was a great feeling to get that win and also to claim the first BSB win for the new Blade.
“I’ve really enjoyed being part of the development for the new machine this year and yes at times, it wasn’t easy but we learnt a lot and developed so much, so it’s mega to now go into the 2018 BSB season with the information we have from this year, and be able to build on that.
“We’ve got a test coming up in a few weeks time, which is great news for myself and Jason, so we’ll be ready to hit the ground running in the New Year and look to be in the 2018 Showdown fighting at the top and for the championship.”
O’Halloran added: “I have been with Honda for a long time now so it’s good to be continuing for another year. 2017 was a good year but it did have its ups and downs with the new Fireblade and the development work throughout the season, so our consistency wasn’t to the level I would have liked, but we worked hard throughout to improve all the time.
“Finishing the season how we did at Brands Hatch in second place, was a nice way to finish the season - we had the fastest lap of the race and was just half a second off the win - so I know that from the start of next year we can be competitive from the first round. We have a good testing programme coming up, which starts at Jerez in a few weeks time, which I am really looking forward to.
“I know 2018 will be a stronger year for myself, Dan and also Honda as we can continue from what we have learnt and developed this year. We made it to the Showdown, collected some podiums and finished 2017 on a high, so we just need to step it up another gear now and really challenge for the championship next season. We’re going to give 2018 everything we have, go into the season on a positive note and look forward to having a strong year.”