Dan Linfoot is confident his Honda Racing squad will unlock the full potential from the new Fireblade CBR1000RR SP2 at a rapid pace once it gets consistent track time over the opening rounds of the 2017 MCE British Superbike.

Honda saw two of its riders reach the 2016 BSB top six last year with both Linfoot and O'Halloran making the title Showdown while running the previous generation Fireblade.

For 2017, Honda has introduced the latest updated model which includes a fly-by-wire throttle and blipper system as well as its new engine package which Linfoot is confident will enable him to take a vast step forward once the team irons out gremlins with a consistent set-up.

After the official BSB pre-season test at Donington Park was severely hit by heavy rain it didn't provide teams with a first insight into the 2017 pecking order, something Linfoot is keen to discover along with notching up vital track time with the new bike.

"I really don't know where we'll be in the order until we get to next week," Linfoot said. "The final test at Donington Park has not been genuine as conditions weren't great. We've had four days in Europe and half a day at Donington Park so the feeling is similar to last year but I honestly don't know yet.

"I am excited to go racing and understand where we are in the pack but days like the Donington test leave you frustrated riding around in sub-10oC conditions risking crashes.

"It is only going to get better though when we have more track time but until that first race I really don't know where we are. I'm sure it won't be far away but it will be a case of suck it and see."

Linfoot will return to Honda Racing's headquarters in Louth this week to trawl over the team's current Fireblade data, and also pick up any useful information from the Red Bull Honda squad in World Superbikes, as he aims to turn the new machine into a BSB title contender in its first year.

For the past two campaigns in BSB new bikes or set-ups have stormed to the riders' championship, with Josh Brookes clinching the 2015 crown with the brand new Milwaukee Yamaha before Shane Byrne secured a fifth BSB title last year with the new-look factory-assisted Be Wiser Ducati.

"I will doing a bit of extra training and a bit more time understanding stuff," he said. "The goal is to be ready for next weekend in as good a shape as possible. We'll have a day over at the workshop going over the data to get a greater understanding so we are ready for next week.

"The Showdown format gives us the opportunity to understand the Honda over the first two rounds although we know we can't take our time.

"Last year I pretty much crashed out of the first two events and still got into the Showdown so it shows we can do it. In an ideal world, I'd rather start off on the podium and get in the Showdown sooner rather than later."


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