GBMoto Honda rider, Dan Linfoot will be making his British Superbike Championship comeback this weekend at Knockhill, after spending the past two months recuperating following the incident he suffered in the last lap of the first race of the season at Brands Hatch, back in April.
|Linfoot’s season begins at Round 4.
Photo: Jamie Morris Photography
PaddockChatter.com caught up with the Yorkshireman prior to the weekend and asked him about his recovery and his plans for the rest of the season…
How does an incident like the one you had at Brands affect you mentally, does it make you re-evaluate things and make you more determined to come back stronger?
The accident wasn’t entirely my fault, so I have no un-answered questions which will/have affected me when I ride again, in terms of my confidence. Immediately when I was lying in Kings College Hospital strapped to a spine board, on the first race day of the year, I asked myself the question, what is this all about, why do I do this, should I just go and get a real job? Obviously it must have been the drugs because as soon as I came round, the only thing on my mind was planning my return. This is just a small pause of the 2013 season, and it makes me determined to achieve my goals for 2013.
“Read more” to hear about Linfoot’s rehabilitation and outlook on the rest of the season…
Can you give us an outline of your recuperation process, is it tough not to over-think things? How did you keep occupied during that time?
The recuperation process was fairly simple. I was simply advised to have bed rest, with as much mobility as I could bear. After ten nights in hospital, I was discharged on crutches. Seven days later I went to the Isle of Man and had six days using the hyperbaric chamber and gym work. On my return I had physio and further gym work, with mainly specific pelvic exercises. Gradually, I built it back up until I could ride my bicycle again and get back to normal. I didn’t over think anything, I just had one desire, and that was to be back on the bike as soon as possible. I kept myself occupied by great family and friends continually supporting me day in and day out. You know who your friends are at times like that!
You’ve done some testing over the past month, both at Mallory Park and at Knockhill itself ahead of your BSB return, how good was it to get back on the bike and be back with the team?
It was like the first time I rode a Superbike again. I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of riding a superbike round Mallory Park, but I had a huge grin on my face again, and was just so relieved that I could ride again and, importantly, with no pain. My team have been superb behind me, from supporting me bed-side in hospital, to getting back on the bike. You’ve got to remember, I’ve hardly spent anytime working with the team. Pre-season testing was non-existent, FP1 at Brands was icy, so I had FP2 and 3, qualifying, and then race one to work with the team, so I’m still very new to working with them. This is why the test at Knockhill was so important to me.
Have you and the team set specific goals for this weekend?
Obviously we want to push on as much as we possibly can. Being realistic, I’ve missed a few rounds, but have had a good test at Knockhill. I want two strong finishes, which we will set goals over the weekend pre-race. Conditions could intervene and help my cause somewhat, we know what Knockhil can be like sometimes!
On that topic, have you set yourself a new goal for the end of the season, after missing out on a few rounds?
Yes 100%, originally the goal was to make showdown, be consistent and do like Bridewell did last year. Now, post-injury, I’m not thinking of the showdown obviously, I’m on the back foot starting from a big fat zero points at round four. The goal now is simply to get back in a comfortable place, in terms of my riding and with the team, then get delivering consistent finishes, get on the podium and mix it with the do-ers before the season is out in a similar way to Alex Lowes last year who was so strong in the final three rounds.