Santander Salt TAG Racing aiming for success at season opener
The 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship is finally upon the teams and riders, and the new look Santander Salt TAG Racing squad are ready to battle against the best in Britain at the Silverstone National circuit.
Following an interrupted winter testing campaign, the Santander Salt TAG Racingsquad head to the opening round of the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike campaign in high spirits, looking to kick off the season in style.
After a host of changes to certain parts of the Yamaha YZF-R1’s the Swadlincote based team are ready to launch an attack on this year’s title race. Dan Linfoot is looking to return to his best form, where he successfully achieved three showdown appearances in as many years, with team mate Shaun Winfield setting his sights on a career best series finish.
30-year-old Linfoot left the final official Bennetts BSB test at Silverstone second overall, just 0.044 behind former team mate Jason O’Halloran, with Shaun Winfield 18th, just a second slower than the fastest time set.
The Silverstone National Circuit is one of the shortest tracks on the calendar, however following its exciting debut in 2018, the fast and flowing rollercoaster is back on the calendar to host the opening round where fans can expect fireworks once again.
Dan Linfoot: “I am definitely excited for this weekend, It’s the start of the season, it’s what we all build up towards and what we all go testing for.
“I’m mindful that I need to take the weekend in the right way, I don’t want to turn up all guns blazing and end up in the gravel, I want to consolidate. That’s my key word at the moment, I want to consolidate and build strong points.
“I want to be a strong as possible and after the positive test we had last week I’m starting the weekend in a positive frame of mind, but the end goal for me is a couple of top five finishes. If we can push for a podium, then great, but I want to leave Silverstone in the top six of the Championship and then move onto the next rounds.
“I was pleasantly surprised at the end of the test at where we finished, after an interrupted winter testing programme. I went to that Silverstone test thinking ‘ok we’re a little bit behind, we haven’t done many track laps, if any, on a Superbike so I just used it as an opportunity to get familiar with the bike and get ready for the following weekend.’
“Obviously, it went better than planned and without chucking a load of tyres in we were quite competitive so that’s a great start. I don’t want to run before I can walk, it’s a great start but it’s very early days and we just need to see how we can progress from here really.
“Moving away from a team that you’ve been with for four years, you expect that it will take more than one or two rounds to click with the bike and the team, but the guys are great to get on with. I’d like to think I’m normal to get on with too, so we seem to be on the same hymn sheet already.
“I don’t want to turn the bike upside down, I just want to get familiar with it and ride it as it is at the moment.So that’s the plan, continue to build relationships with the lads and most importantly enjoy it!”
Shaun Winfield: “I’m really excited to get back racing after what has been a very long winter, I’m feeling fitter and stronger than ever which is a good sign ahead of the weekend.
“Although our winter testing programme was interrupted, the final BSB test at Silverstone went really well for me, it was good to get back out on the bike and I felt comfortable straight away with the changes to the package the team have made.
“To be just over a second off Jason (O’Halloran) at the top at the end of the day is real confidence boost for me, which sets me up nicely for the weekend ahead.
“This season I’m fully focused and keen to move up the Championship table, finishing on a career best, and making improvements every weekend. I’m still working alongside Chris Walker and that continuity is going to help me reach my goal, Dan has also helped me improve as a rider so I can’t wait to roll out of pit-lane on Friday and get my season underway.”
Team manager Gary Winfield: “As a team we’re really excited ahead of the new season, after a difficult 2018 each and every member of the team are ready to taste success once again.
“Our winter testing programme has been interrupted by factors out of our control, but from just the two sessions we had on track at Silverstone BSB test, we’ve shown we can run at the front again.
“Both Dan and Shaun are fighting fit and are ready for the challenge, we have made a few changes to our package this season and we feel those changes will be the difference to get us back up to the sharp end, and winning races again.”