Manxman Dan Kneen is targeting a podium finish at the 2012 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy.
The 24-year-old and the Marks Bloom Racing team have switched to Suzuki for this season and will campaign GSXR1000 and GSXR600 machines with technical support from TAS Racing.
Kneen’s busy year will include the TT, other international road racers and the British National 1000cc Superstock Championship.
He is no stranger to the GSXR, having ridden both a K7 and K9 Superstock bike in previous years, but it will be his first time on the 600cc version, having enjoyed success during the last four seasons on an R6 Yamaha.
Since becoming the first rider to win a hat-trick at the Manx Grand Prix, a feat he achieved in 2008, Kneen’s career has gone from strength-to-strength.
On the roads the Braddan rider has become a regular fixture in the top 10 at the TT, with a best result of 5th in the 2010 Supersport A race, as well as doing similar at the North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix, becoming the fastest newcomer at the latter when he lapped at more than 129mph in 2010.
It will be the fourth consecutive season that Marks Bloom, Chartered Accountants and Insolvency Practitioners in Kingston upon Thames, has supplied machinery for Kneen. Other major sponsors of the team in 2012 include WEMOTO, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of on-line motorcycle parts, Slick Performance and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
“It’s great to have everything all in place so early and I can’t wait for the new season to start.”
“Having new machinery is a terrific boost to all of us and we should be able to raise our game considerably.”
“I’ve ridden Suzukis before and gone well and receiving technical support from the TAS Racing team will only strengthen our cause.”
“I want to go quicker at the TT and improve my results so I’ve been doing more homework on the course and concentrating on learning it a bit more. I’ve done good lap times so far, but it was a bit of a struggle on the big bike last year and I had to roll off in places so there’s definite time to be gained.”
“I’ve had my best results in the 600cc class, but I was a bit unlucky last year as I was running 4th in the first race before it got stopped and 3rd in the second before the same thing happened, but these things happen.”
“It will be nice to be on a new 600 machine and if I could get a podium, that would be superb.”
Isle of Man Government TT and Motorsport Manager Paul Phillips said:
“Dan is definitely one of the up and coming riders at the TT and it’s great to have another high profile Manxman along with Conor (Cummins) for the locals to support.”
“He’s building his performances well and isn’t that far away from a podium place which could even come this year.”