Santander Salt TAG Racing aiming to bounce back at thrilling Thruxton
Swadlincote based Santander Salt TAG Racing are excited to be back in action as the second half of the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship gets underway at Thruxton, with Dan Linfoot and Shaun Winfield aiming to bounce back after tough results last time out at Snetterton.
Following on from a contrasting weekend two-weeks ago, where Dan Linfoot and Shaun Winfield endured a frustrating raceday in Norfolk following positive qualifying and free practice sessions, the duo are ready to bounce back at Thruxton.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Dan, who has returned to the UK following a strong 25th place finish in the 42nd Suzuka eight-hour endurance race, completing four one-hour long stints, to take fourth in the Superstock class.
But their pace would have seen them take victory if it wasn’t for a crash for Josh Waters in the opening stint of the race, seeing them lose nine laps.
‘Linny’ is expecting a much stronger weekend as he returns to BSB action onboard his YZF-R1, which has seen more upgrades in the break. The Yorkshireman is aiming to close the points gap to the sixth and final showdown place.
Shaun travels to Thruxton full of confidence with the 2.3mile circuit being one of his favourites on the calendar, having seen most of his BSB success at the venue.
Last year saw Winfield posted strong lap times, making it through to Q2 for the first time in his career. But sadly missed out on points during raceday, finishing 16th in race one, failing to finish race two after being taken out by Danny Buchan.
Thruxton is a former airfield circuit and the fastest on the Bennetts BSB calendar, with Superbikes averaging 110 miles per hour over the lap.
The Hampshire venue holds strong memories for the team, it was the venue that played host to our maiden victory in 2017 with Josh Brookes.
Dan Linfoot: “I love it, I love it at Thruxton, it’s an awesome track. I have good memories there. I always love riding it because it’s somewhere you don’t get to race very often so it always feels a pleasure to be there.
“It’s a real strange surface and working on tyre life is a real nightmare but fortunately for our team it has been really good in the past. I’m looking forward to experiencing riding the Yamaha around there, it’s definitely one of my favourite tracks, Snetterton didn’t exactly go to plan on raceday so I want a big handful of points.
“We need to get Sunday’s nailed now because we need to turn things around, it is something we are aiming to do this weekend. The character of racing at Thruxton is generally different so hopefully we can be up at the front and getting stuck in.
“We don’t have the SC1 this weekend, we have a new Thruxton only spec tyre, so we are going to need to try it but from what I’ve learnt in the past is that the harder the tyre you use, you generally get more wheelspin, and with that you get more tyre wear.
“So from looking at what the team did last year, and in 2017 with Josh, they have always ridden with the softer rear tyre and it’s then down to the rider to be smooth enough not to wear the rubber out, so that is what I need to do.”
Shaun Winfield: “Thruxton is a special place for me and I can’t wait to get back there this weekend. It’s my favourite circuit on the calendar, it just has everything, it’s so fast and flowing that you can really test yourself, I get excited as soon as I drive through the gates there.
“I’m expecting to improve on what I did there last year, I feel it was my best performance on a Superbike. I made it in to Q2 for the first time, I posted my fastest lap time, but I just missed out on points in race one and I was taken out in race two.
“I’m expecting much more from myself this year because we have improved the bike a lot since 2018, so I know I can go much better as long as the weather treats us kindly.
“I’m also excited to be part of the R&G evening on Friday, they have supported me and the team for a long time and we are close friends with a lot of people at the company, so it will be nice to personally thank them all for all their support.”
Team manager Gary Winfield: “I’m expecting a much stronger performance from the team this weekend because Thruxton is a circuit that suits the Yamaha perfectly, and it holds special memories for us all from 2017.
“We’ve pinpointed the issues that plagued us in the races at Snetterton and those problems have been solved. It would have been nice to get out on the bikes in the break we had, but with Dan’s involvement in the Suzuka eight-hour that wasn’t possible, although we’re confident ahead of the weekend.
“Thruxton is a great track for the team, Shaun and Dan have had some good success there in the past so we are hoping that all factors come together this weekend and we can attack the Showdown, because it’s now or never if we want to be in the running for a spot come the end of the regular season.
“It’s also a special race for us because it’s our loyal partners R&G’s 20th anniversary this year, and they have a lot planned over the weekend and we’re excited to be a part of their celebrations.”