Santander Salt TAG Racing raring to go for Bennetts BSB Restart
After an unusually long break due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship gets underway this weekend at the teams’ home round of Donington Park, with all four riders looking to start the season strongly. Chris ‘Stalker’ Walker and Ash Hawes will also be in action at Cadwell Park for the opening round of the 2020 Molson British Sidecar Championship
Following on from over a 100-day break since the riders returned home from Spain back in early March, the Santander Salt TAG Racing team are ready and raring to go for the eagerly awaited 2020 Bennetts BSB campaign with a new-look line-up including double British Supersport Champion Jack Kennedy teaming up with Dan Linfoot in the superbike class.
The all-new Yamaha R1 plus Pirelli National Superstock 1000 and 600 machines will be out on track over the shortened schedule at Donington park, with the quartet looking to start their seasons off strongly.
Prior to the pandemic the team had enjoyed three successful tests with the superbike and superstock duo’s at Monteblanco and Jerez, with areas of improvements pinpointed ahead of the return to the UK.
During the lockdown the team continued to work hard, upgrading key areas on the bikes ahead of the season. Both Dan and Jack are ready to make an impressive start to a shortened, but action-packed Superbike season.
The 2020 Championship has a new look schedule with the Superbike class on track just once on Friday afternoon, with a final practice on Saturday morning before a shortened qualifying session and opening race. Sunday will run as normal with two races in the afternoon.
There will also be two races for Shaun and the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship at Donington, one on Saturday and one Sunday. Liam will contest just one race on Sunday.
The 2020 British Sidecar Championship also gets underway this weekend at Lincolnshire’s Cadwell Park, Chris Walker and Ash Hawes are looking to get their season underway in style after gaining a new-found confidence with their machine.
Dan Linfoot: “I’m really excited to be going back racing, it’s felt a long, long time since I raced in anger so I can’t wait.
“My plan this weekend is to get strong points, we need to start the season strongly and that is just what is on my radar. With their being no showdown this year it means everyone will be putting it on the line and I will be doing the exact same.
“Donington wasn’t our strongest round last year, in fact we really struggled and I want to put that right. We still have work to do with the new bike, but we’re making progress and that is a positive sign.
“I just want to say how sad it will be not to have fans at the track but I know they will be supporting me from home and that does mean a lot.”
Jack Kennedy: “I’m more than ready to get back racing after such a long break and excited to finally get the 2020 season started.
“I left the official test happy with the progress we made as a team, although the day didn’t start off the best we ended it strong which is the most important thing. The new Yamaha YZF R1 is quickly starting to feel like my own and that’s a really good sign after the limited time we’ve had to ride it.
“My aim this weekend is to get some solid points on the board to start the year off strong, then build on that as the season goes on.
“It will be very strange with no fans trackside at the opening round but I’m sure we will have some exciting close racing this weekend so there’ll be plenty to cheer on from home.”
Shaun Winfield: “I’m looking forward to this weekend, it’s great to be getting back racing and I’m really excited for my new challenge.
“I know the Superstock 1000 Championship isn’t going to be easy, far from it in fact, but I have a lot more confidence now than I ever have done before. Testing has gone well, we made big steps forward at the final test at Donington and we have a good base setting to build from.
“I’m the only Yamaha rider in the class so that is nice, but I know it’s going to be a big challenge against the BMW’s and Kawasaki’s, but it’s one I’m geared up for.
“It’s going to be extremely strange not racing in front of the crowds, but I know they’re going to be cheering me on from home.”
Liam Delves: “It’s been a long time coming but I’m really glad we’re going back racing this weekend, I’m really excited.
‘It’s been a strange time for everyone and I don’t want to talk much about it, but it’s nice that we seem to be coming to an end of it all meaning we can go racing.
‘I’m in a very good place at the minute, I’m physically the fittest I’ve been, the team is fantastic, the bike is brilliant and I can’t wait to get out on track.
‘Testing went well for us and to leave the official test first meant a lot, it’s given me lots of confidence and like I say I can’t wait to get going!”
Chris ‘Stalker’ Walker: “It’s felt like a lifetime but I’m really excited to get back racing. I like many others thought we might be in for a year with no racing, so to be able to get the season started is fantastic for everyone involved.
“The down time has allowed the team the chance to update the bike a bit to bring it up to the same level as our competitors, and with Ash back on the side again right from round one we should be in real good shape once we’ve got it set up and back up to speed.
“Cadwell Park is always a tough place to race a sidecar at with the tight and twisty nature of the circuit but it is also one of the most exciting so we can’t wait to get started…2020 is go!
Team manager Gary Winfield: “It’s nice to be leaving for a race track again, it’s a really good feeling after what has happened and it’s a big credit to everyone at MSV for getting the show on the road.
“We’ve worked extremely hard over the break after testing to improve the package, the work didn’t stop for us.
“The new bike has given us a new lease of life, we’re ready for action and hopefully we can leave Donington with solid points for Jack and Dan.
“Shaun and Liam are excited to get their seasons underway, testing has gone well for them and we’re expecting great results from both.
“Chris’ first round is at Cadwell so we’ll be keeping an eye on him across the weekend, from my conversations with him he’s more than ready to get going, and hopefully he can get great results.
“It won’t be the same without fans at the track, and our sponsors and guests, but I know they’ll be shouting at their TV’s in support and hopefully we can see them all soon.”