MACAU GP 50TH ANNIVERSARY
AN UPDATE FROM DAN KNEEN
Dan Kneen just got back from Macau Grand Prix, marking the end of the season until March next year. Here's what he has to say:
'It was the 50th anniversary of the bike race there [Macau] so it was good to be part of that as it's such an iconic event.
'Practice and qualifying were a bit tricky. The place is a bit daunting at the best of times and I hadn't ridden a bike since 2 months beforehand so it took me a few sessions to get into it again. The bike needed a bit of tweaking too. But we were making big jumps and by the end of Q2, we were 11th. Which was good as most in front were on qualifying tyres worth roughly 1.5 seconds a lap, so our race pace was looking good.
'On the way to the grid for the race, I noticed an oil leak as my foot was slipping off the peg and so I had to pull off grid! The lads did a good job at getting the clutch gasket changed in time but it meant starting from the pit lane.
'The lights seemed to take a long time to go out after everyone had gone past and I was keen to make the best of the bad situation. Everyone suffers around the Guia circuit as it's physically demanding. The heat and humidity sap your energy too. So it was extra hard work catching up, and then making passes made it difficult to keep a smooth rhythm. After getting past the first big group I had to try and compose myself and set a good pace as to catch the others who were way ahead.
'Looking at my race pace I was good for 6th, at least, so it's a bit of a shame, but missing the race would have been worse.
'Once the race was over we all went to the Prize giving and it was a good end of year party for all the teams now the serious stuff was over with.
'Thanks to Mar-Train Yamaha Racing for all their hard work throughout the season, all their sponsors and mine. Towards the end of the year, we have had some real good results, which bodes well for next year.
'Now it's time to relax a regroup for next year.'
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