Jason O'Halloran says using the opening round of the 2017 MCE British Superbike championship like an extra test wasn't ideal but the information gained gives him confidence Honda Racing can start climbing the pecking order with the new Fireblade.

The Australian rider and team-mate Dan Linfoot, who were both Showdown contenders in 2016 on the old Fireblade, are both searching for a comfortable setting and feel from the new bike's fly-by-wire, blipper system integrated with the MoTeC electronics.

O'Halloran headed the Honda Racing charge at Donington Park with a pair of 10th place finishes but impressively slashed 12.5 seconds off his total race distance time between the two races despite a difficult opening lap battling for track position.

"We are trying to test in front of everyone and it probably looks worse than what it is," O'Halloran said. "In race two we made a big step but we need that sort of stride again, but I'm confident we can get there.

"We're losing out on engine braking with the entry into the corner and losing out in corner exit with the feel and connection we have with the power.

"I don't have a lot of confidence with it yet so we are struggling to feel exactly where the power is coming in before we have a bad moment but we know we can make huge improvements."

O'Halloran was thrilled to enjoy two problem-free races on the new Fireblade's BSB debut and will look to extract as much information out of the race data with his crew to solve his set-up issues.

"In practice and testing you come in and out of the pits whenever there is an issue but you never get a long distance run until you are in a situation where you have to do it," he said. "We've got two full races under our belts both from myself and Dan so it is a lot of data to get through and a lot of information for me to try to translate to the team.

"It is new for us all and some of our rivals have had fly-by-wire for four or five years. I'm sure they've all had these issues but four or five years ago. We've got a lot of catching up to do but I'm confident we've got the people on board to do it."

 

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