Dan Kneen plans to run Superstock machine in PokerStars Senior TT
Dan Kneen plans to use his Superstock Kawasaki in Friday’s PokerStars Senior TT due to handling problems with his British Superbike Championship EVO-spec Superbike.
The Manxman, who has enjoyed a strong run so far in the 2011 Isle of Man TT fuelled by Monster Energy, admitted he has been ‘scared’ by the Superbike on a few occasions and will switch to the Superstock, which he took to seventh in Monday’s Royal London 360 Superstock TT.
The 23-year-old said:
“To be honest the EVO bike scared me a few times during practice, I thought I wasn’t going to make it past the bottom of Bray Hill once or twice !”
“We took this engine out of a brand new ZX10R road bike at the weekend and ran it in on the dyno at Slick Performance. The bike has a completely standard engine, its never been touched and it’s fast! With the superstocker setup already, we shall just fit the superbike swinging arm with the quick release wheel fittings and run that in the Senior.”
“I shall take it out for one practice lap to make sure it all feels good and I shall just give it my best shot in the race.”
Riding for Marks Bloom Racing, Kneen took a superb sixth in Monday’s Monster Energy Supersport 1 race and seventh in the Superstock, finally ending the run of bad luck which has plagued him this season.
On the Slick Performance-tuned 2009 Yamaha R6 Supersport machine, he was lying in eighth at the end of lap one, just 3 seconds behind John McGuinness, who was first away on the road.
With the restarted race being run over 3 laps the team decided to pit at the end of the first lap and due to the fact a few riders didn’t pit until the end of lap 2, positions took a while to sort themselves out.
“After the pitstop I seemed to be on my own for most of the race. Also I was getting really confused with my signal boards as I thought I was a lot higher up than they were telling me!”
“It was my first proper dry race of the season as well, having only had a wet North West 200 and even wetter BSB race at Thruxton it took me a while to get myself back into it to be honest.”
Of his 125.1mph average on lap 3 he said:
“I felt like I was pushing hard, but I went quicker last year so I’m really looking forward to Wednesday’s Supersport race 2, the Slick Performance-tuned R6 was as reliable as ever and managed 168mph in the speed trap.”
Crossing the line in 6th place from start number 6 on the same privateer Yamaha he rode to 5th place in last year’s race was another great result for the youngster.
After brief rest and practice excursion on the ManxTT electric bike, which still has a few gremlins to iron out, it was on to the 2011 Kawasaki ZX10R Superstock machine for the delayed Royal London 360 Superstock race.
Starting from number 15, Kneen set off and was soon into the groove. He narrowly avoided overshooting at Ballacraine on the opening lap.
“I knew I was going in a bit too hot and just got it stopped and turned slowly so I didn't overshoot. It cost me loads of time and was a stupid mistake.”
Lying in eighth place at the end of lap one and sixth at the end of lap 2 the Braddan rider pitted, but briefly stalled when leaving, losing valuable time again.
However, setting a lap time of 127.26mph on lap 2 Kneen was having fun on the road.
“I caught up Michael Rutter and William Dunlop and had a good run with them until we got to Parliament Square in Ramsey. I managed to pass the two of them, but then completely overshot in Parliament Square.”
“I got past Rutter again, but then had to follow William. I was quicker in places, but couldn’t get past and boy that Honda of his is fast!”
Kneen took seventh, nearly 37 seconds ahead of Michael Rutter and just 11 seconds behind Cameron Donald, who had started number six.
“I would like to thank my sponsors, especially Marks Bloom Accountants, Wemoto.com, ELAS, Slick performance tuning, Maxton, Kawasaki UK, The Steam Packet Company, West End Couriers, all my trade sponsors and mechanics Wayne, Rory and Jon.”