Linfoot came so close at Snetterton 300; this moment cost him on the run to the line.
Photo Credit to Gareth Davies
Dan Linfoot has got to be the best rider currently on the BSB grid to never win a BSB race. Coming so desperately close in both races at Snetterton, Linfoot has had the pace, but has been robbed of chances to take that elusive first victory. So, with Cadwell Park approaching, I pose the question: Can he do it in Lincolnshire?
The form book says no; Linfoot’s best result at the track has been a seventh place in 2014, apart from that, it has been 10th at best for the Yorkshireman. However, Linfoot has never looked so strong in a British Superbike Championship; he made the showdown last year, but it was only just. He hadn’t looked alarmingly consistent and it was often the case that in wet conditions, he would fade away due to poor tyre choice. This year, former GP rider Linfoot looks like he could be a real dark horse however, and he is proving that consistency alone is keeping him in the title fight.
His Snetterton round was particularly impressive. Not only did he run a high pace, but he kept in touch with team mate Jason O’Halloran and proved that he was willing to push and battle in difficult conditions when the rain came down. And then, the final corner. A slight mistake just gave his Australian team mate enough of an advantage to pinch the win on the line. In the second outing, Linfoot was riding within himself before the red flags came out due to Jenny Tinmouth, his other team mate, crashed out too. It would not be beyond the realms of imagination and possibility to think that Dan could have done the double.
Ifs, buts and maybes don’t count however, and it’s all about looking to the future. Linfoot currently sits on 137 points in 5th place, so he is in the top six. But this is BSB, and as we have seen this year, the gaps couldn’t get any closer! He is just 13 points ahead of Luke Mossey in 7th place, and Luke is a man in form. Linfoot is just 29 points ahead of Peter Hickman in 10th place, and we know Hicky likes Cadwell. It really could be a matter of who wants it more, and I wouldn’t look past Linfoot given his determined form and blistering pace.
However, one thing is on Linfoot’s side. The fact that he is riding a bike that has won at Cadwell in recent years, albeit in the wet. His fireblade won in the capable hands of Peter Hickman in 2014. Did I just mention rain? Oh yes, it does that every now and then in Britain, and if it does it on the race weekend then you can be sure to see a surprise!
The other factor is that because everything is so close, you could be a tenth off your usual pace and find yourself marooned in the mid pack. Look at what happened to Shane Byrne last year, it arguably cost him a shot at the title. And, if you are going to be stuck in a battle with riders you are unfamiliar with, then Cadwell Park is not the track you want it. Back in 2000, Neil Hodgson caught Neil Mackenzie, his team mate, on the final lap as a backmarker. But because the track is so tight and narrow, he couldn’t get past, allowing championship rival Chris Walker to not just catch Hodgson, but get ahead of him too, nearly costing Hodgy the title. We really could be in for some fun and games!
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