A STRONG ULSTER GRAND PRIX MEETING FOR KNEEN
DESPITE A FALL AND AN INJURED HAND
Dan Kneen enjoyed a strong two days of racing at the Ulster Grand Prix with the Manxman taking a number of top eight finishes on the Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Honda machines, his best result being an excellent fourth in the Dundrod 150 Superbike race.
The 6-lap race got proceedings underway on Thursday evening and having completed the first lap in eighth place, Dan had moved up to a good fifth by the end of the third lap. Aided by his best ever lap of the 7.4-mile circuit, 130.937mph, he was able to maintain this position as he started his sixth and final lap but when leader Guy Martin crashed out, the race was red flagged. With Martin out of the results, Dan was promoted up to fourth to get his week underway in fine style.
Saturday’s feature Ulster Grand Prix races saw fine conditions at the beginning of the day and Dan opened his account with a good seventh in the Superstock race, less than two seconds adrift of fifth. It was a similar outcome in the first Supersport race where a race long battle with Peter Hickman saw him just miss out on sixth.
Next up was the feature 7-lap Superbike race and a good start saw Dan in seventh place and right in touch with the leading group. However, second time around he slid off at the hairpin when he tried to go up the inside of William Dunlop, suffering a deep cut to his hand when he tried to pick the bike up. The hand injury led to him pulling out of the second Supersport race but with the offending cut stitched he was back out on the grid for the second Superbike race, which was held in tricky, wet conditions, and he duly completed his weekend with a strong sixth place.
“It’s been a bit of a mixed week here at Dundrod and whilst I was able to have a real good go in some of the races, I wasn’t in others. Fourth in the Dundrod 150 race and a near 131mph lap was a great start to the week and Saturday’s feature race was looking good too. I was right on the back of the front group and when William Dunlop ran a little wide going into the hairpin, I tried to nip underneath. I got sucked in a bit though and tucked the front.
I had a decent enough run in the wet Superbike race later in the day but it was hard to see where I was going with all the spray. When it cleared up a bit, I was able to get going but it wasn’t worth pushing too hard. The first 600cc race went ok and I set my fastest ever lap on a Supersport bike so there have been some good positives to take away with me this week.”
Dan now has a two week break before practice gets underway for the Classic TT races where he’ll be riding in the 4-lap Formula One race. Picture by Stephen Davison – Pacemaker Press International
Information from a Dan Kneen press release
Wemoto sponsors Dan Kneen
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