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SECOND AND THIRD ROW START FOR HONDA RACING IN THE FIRST ROUND OF THE SHOWDOWN AT DONINGTON PARK

After a difficult start to the tenth round of the MCE British Superbike Championship, the Honda Racing team line up on the second and third row of the grid at Donington Park tomorrow, which marks the first round in the Showdown.

The day started well for both Dan Linfoot and team mate Jason O’Halloran who lapped quicker round the 4.003km Leicestershire circuit than the British Superbike lap record during FP3.

In the first qualifying session, Linfoot immediately set a blisteringly fast lap that placed his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade second on the timing screens. Both Linfoot and O’Halloran did enough in the second qualifying session to make it through to Superpole. All nine riders in the Superpole session were only separated by 1.125 seconds, with Linfoot lining up sixth for tomorrow’s race one.

O’Halloran, who has been consistent over the weekend, has been working hard to optimise the settings on his Fireblade machine. The O’Show will line up on the third row of the grid for race one in eighth place.

Meanwhile Jenny Tinmouth, who struggled to keep heat in the tyres in the cool conditions, enjoyed riding her Fireblade in the first qualifying session and will start race one from 26th place.

The first MCE British Superbike Championship race is scheduled tomorrow (Sunday 18 September) at 1330 with race two at 1630. For all the latest news and information on the team follow @HondaRacingBSB on Twitter or like the team’sFacebook page.

“I was quite surprised by the first qualifying as we got a good lap time straight away. It took a couple of laps to get the left hand side of the tyre going; in Q2 I got caught up with quite a few other guys and didn’t manage to put a lap in until quite late. For the Superpole I was worried about not having enough laps to get tyre temperature and we did struggle for grip. It was a bit frustrating as I felt I could have been quicker than I was, but we’re sixth and being on the second row isn’t the end of the world. Tomorrow should hopefully be a bit warmer, which will suit the softer tyre, and I’m feeling quite good with the CBR so looking forward to both races.”

Dan Linfoot

“We split qualifying into two sessions today. I went out for a few laps at the beginning, came back in and then went out for a few more laps at the end. I went quicker in the second session, so it was good to have that break in the middle. It has been a bit cold so it took a few laps to get heat into the tyres. I like the Donington track but I’m struggling to get the speed I want. I’m looking forward to tomorrow though and to see what we can do.”

Jenny Tinmouth

“It’s not ideal starting on the third row but we gave it our best shot today. Unfortunately we just seem to be struggling a little bit with rear grip, the bike itself feels good though. As we get more laps on the tyre it’s improving so I think for the race it’s not going to be as bad. To do one lap straight out of the pits was really tough. We’ve got a plan for morning warm up; we’re going to do a couple of things to the Fireblade setup and hopefully that will put us in a good place for the race.”

Jason O'Halloran

“Today was the first qualifying in the Showdown and we had the two riders in the Superpole, which was good. I think Dan and Jason have struggled with grip today. We’re a little bit disappointed as the pair do have potential and they have very good race pace. Unfortunately we’re a little further back on the grid than we anticipated but I’m confident with both them that they can get good starts and be at the sharp end for tomorrows first race. Jenny did the first qualifying and even went back out in the last few laps to set a quicker time. Hopefully this will give her the confidence to have two good races; her target will be to start two races and finish two races. The target for Dan and Jason is to be fighting for the podiums. To have the strength going forward in the championship we need to be battling for the podiums.”

Havier Beltran - Honda Racing team manager

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