Honda MCE British Superbike star Dan Linfoot would be happiest to race now with the newest spec engine and frame which his team took to the Jerez test after being given myriad options over the three days.
Linfoot and team-mate Jason O’Halloran had three frames and two engines to play with at the Andalucian track, one of which was the SP2 engine which they didn’t use this year.
“The reason for the test so early after the season end was that Harv wanted to introduce the SP2 engine halfway through the year but we weren’t keen to do it with the difficulties we were already having. So we got the engines ready for testing at Jerez,” Linfoot told BSN, in between wondering why his windows are so clean and there is a lot of milk in the fridge.
“We had some early issues in the season with power delivery and throttle connection, and we didn’t then want to put in an engine with more power so we waited until now. We also had a new frame that was braced differently under the swingarm and link mounting area.”
This year, both Linfoot and O’Halloran had been using the 2016 engine with 2017 throttle bodies, which Linfoot struggled with until another change made the setup feel more natural.
“The first day there was just to get acclimatised to the track, I have never ridden a Superbike there and Jason hadn’t ridden there at all. So I tested the new engine on day two and then the new frame on day three with the new engine.
“We could do whichever configurations we wanted with the new engine, current engine, frame whatever. Jason did a lot of work with the engines in frames but I worked on the new engine in the new frame after trying it in the 2017 frame.
“The team didn’t tell me what the differences in the frames were, because they like to do that, and I was could feel the differences straightaway. The 2017 bike spins quite a lot on corner exit, and with the new one it was a lot less.
“The rear felt more settled with more grip. A negative was it didn’t finish the corner as well but if we wanted a combination to race now, I would be happiest with the new frame and new engine. There is a load of other small things to fine tune but that’s what I’d be happiest with.
The two were BSB’s representatives after JG Speedfit Kawasaki went home and Linfoot said he enjoyed riding with the MotoGP and WorldSBK contingent.
“It was a good experience to be on track with the MotoGP and WorldSBK guys. When the MotoGP guys come past, all you can hear is their bike, nothing else, and they are travelling much faster on the straight, so have to brake earlier than we do.
“Mid-corner they weren’t significantly faster but on the exit and down a straight, they clear off. I think the WorldSBK lads had a new qualifier to test, so it’s hard to judge against them but against their race tyre times - for example van der Mark was doing 1’40.3s - I did 1’40.7 so not too far off. I was happy with how close I was to them.”