MIXED FORTUNES FOR DAN KNEEN
AT THE NW 200
Dan Kneen had an up and down meeting at the International North West 200 road races this week with the Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Honda rider performing extremely well but suffering from bad luck which prevented him from getting the results he deserved.
Rain or shine
With qualifying on Tuesday and Thursday seeing vastly different conditions, the Manxman posted strong times in both the wet and dry and hopes were high going into Thursday evening’s six lap Supersport race which saw dry and sunny weather throughout. Starting from the sixth row of the grid, Dan had already moved up to 13th by the end of the first lap and a lap later this had become ninth. At half race distance, he’d moved up to eighth, battling with John McGuinness, Conor Cummins and Keith Amor for sixth.
However, just as he’d claimed sixth from fellow Manxman Conor Cummins on the penultimate lap, an electrical problem forced him to retire. With the closing Superstock race stopped and subsequently postponed, it meant a busy day lay in store on Saturday with no less than five races. It didn’t get off to the best of starts for anyone when the Superstock race was cancelled due to two incidents and Dan was then forced to retire at the Metropole on the second lap of the Supersport race. A clutch problem looked like it would keep him out of the opening Superbike race but a stoppage allowed the team to fix the issue although another electrical problem spelt a third lap retirement.
The second Superstock race followed and although he overshot one of the corners, and dropped back from 11th to 14th, he fought his way back up to 11th at the chequered flag, closing in on the riders ahead of him all the time. Unfortunately, that was his last race of the day as winds in excess of 40mph caused the feature Superbike race to be cancelled on safety grounds.
“The results haven’t showed it this week but I’m happy as all three bikes are excellent and the more I ride them, the happier I am. The 600 was flying and it was a real shame I had the electrical problem on Thursday as I’d gone from 18th to sixth and a good result looked on the cards. The other two bikes were flying too and the Superbike is rapid, to say the least! I just need time on it to get fully up to speed and that’s something I’ll get at the TT with all the practice time.”
“A few small problems have hit us this week, problems that no one could have foreseen nor done anything about so it’s just been one of those things. The weather has also made it difficult to get going properly but, overall, I’m feeling good. We’re just tweaking little things here and there so I can get used to the Hondas and each time I go out, I go quicker so I’m very happy with how I’m riding and with the team and am confident of some good results at the TT.”
Dan’s home meeting, the Isle of Man TT, gets underway on Saturday 30th May with the first race, the Superbike, a week later.
Information from a Dan Kneen press release
Picture by Pacemaker Press International
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