Positive progress and points haul for TAG Racing Honda north of the border at Knockhill

 The TAG Racing Honda team made excellent progress at round two of the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Knockhill with Dan Linfoot collecting solid points in all three races across the two days, becoming more comfortable on board his Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. Shaun Winfield also experienced a solid weekend however he was forced to retire from both races on Sunday with severe arm pump.
It was a positive start to the busy two-day event for both Dan and Shaun with the pair working hard in their respective free practice sessions under sunny skies in Scotland, with Linfoot improving on his time by almost half a second in FP2.

Dan would have to progress through to the second stage of qualifying through Q1, but the Yorkshireman had no issues and improved in time during the short session, meaning he would be one of the 18 riders battling for pole.

Q2 saw Linfoot knock almost half a second off his best lap time, posting a 47.879 to line him up in 16th place for Saturday’s opening BSB race. Dan’s progression was clear to see, with the 32-year-old improving in time by a full second over the course of the first day.

Qualifying for the Pirelli National Superstock Championship would see Shaun end the 20-minute session in 28th, after posting his fastest lap of the weekend by over three tenths of a second.

From the lights for the opening BSB race of the weekend on Saturday afternoon, Dan made a great start and after the opening lap he had made up one place, sitting within the points in 15th place. He then began to battle with Glenn Irwin and his brother Andrew, with the trio swapping place over the course of the next five laps.

The Yorkshireman rode hard for the remaining 15 laps, holding off Andrew Irwin for 14th place, crossing the line to take more valuable Championship points and an improved feeling onboard his Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.

Sunday morning would be a positive one for the team with Linny ending the short 10-minute warm-up session in fourth, after topping the times for most of the session. Winfield headed out before Dan on a wet track, gaining valuable data for any weather that could potentially arrive.

By virtue of his lap time in the opening race of the weekend, Dan started 15th on the grid and made a great start. By the end of lap one he had made up three places to 12th. He then began to chase down Lee Jackson who lay ahead, holding the gap to the chasing duo of Glenn Irwin and Josh Brookes.

But with ten laps to go he quickly lost grip from his rear tyre and had to manage his ride to the flag, eventually crossing the line in 13th place, picking up more valuable points.

Race three saw Dan start from the middle of the fifth row in 14th and as the light went out he made a great leap, finishing the opening lap in 14th and on the back of the 13 man leading group. He quickly become embroiled in a battle with Glen Irwin, Lee Jackson and Danny Kent for 11th, with Linfoot passing Kent for 13th by the end of fifth lap.

The pair then started to battle on their own, with Linfoot and Kent swapping places over the next ten laps. Dan then quickly got his head down by half race distance and began to pull a manageable gap over the chasing Suzuki man with Andy Irwin just behind. The Yorkshireman rode hard to keep the chasing pack behind him, taking 12th place following a red flag with five laps to go.

Sunday’s first 25-lap Pirelli National Superstock race saw Shaun make a great start from 28th on the grid, and after the opening lap he had made up two places, beginning to battle with Jordan Weaving and Matt Truelove, posting his fastest lap of the weekend in the process.

Over the next ten laps he began to swap places with the duo, making his way into 24th and chasing down 23rd. But on lap 13 he developed an issue with his machine and was forced to retire from the race.

Race two saw Shaun start from 25th, by virtue of his lap time in the first race, making a great start to end lap one in 22nd and began to dice in a four-man battle. Over the next 12 laps he swapped and changes places, however by half race distance the 27-year-old was forced to retire from the race due to severe arm pump.

Dan Linfoot: “It’s been a really positive weekend for us in terms of feeling and progression, again the results on the timesheets don’t look great but we’ve made some excellent progress and taken points from all three races, which is a step in the right direction.

“I feel so much more comfortable now, the changes we’ve made, the new parts we’ve tried have all worked and I’m so much happier. With the weekend condensed in to two days it made things tough, but we worked incredibly well and I can’t wait for round three now.

“I feel that Brands Hatch will suit our bike well and we can build on what we have created here, so I’m really eager to get going again.”

Shaun Winfield: It’s been a weekend of two halves really, we started off well, made some really good progress, I felt much more comfortable with the bike and that showed with how quickly my times were dropping.

“Qualifying in 28th wasn’t ideal but the times were so close this weekend it was always going to be tough, the Superstock class isn’t an easy one to be in. But in both races I developed really severe arm pump half way through, I couldn’t hold on to the bike and around here that isn’t what you want.

“I’ll be getting booked in to have it operated on again, I’ve been through this before and I know I can come stronger so hopefully by Brands Hatch I’ll be in a better place.”

Team manager Gary Winfield“It’s been a really solid weekend for us and it shows that the hard work we’ve put in has paid off. Obviously, we didn’t test here when others did so we were slightly behind in that sense, and having two days instead of three wasn’t going to help but we’ve done really well in my opinion.

“Both Dan and Shaun have made major steps forward, and morning warm-up showed that with Dan leading the way, then finishing fourth, on used tyres for the full session. All three BSB races were good, we’ve picked up plenty of points and we’re on the right path now, Dan is much happier and we’re moving in the right direction, so we’re expecting more of the same at Brands Hatch.

“Shaun will now get booked in for an operation for the arm pump issues he’s having, we know he’s capable of better results, so by Brands Hatch he’ll be back to full fitness and fighting harder.”

Dan Linfoot now sits 15th in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship on 10 points.

The team is now fully focussed ahead of the third round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch on July 23/24/25.