PRESS RELEASE: Top 20 finish at Brands for Dan.
Dan Kneen was back in action at the weekend, contesting the second round of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000cc Championship at Brands Hatch and although he was unable to replicate the finish of two weeks ago, the Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Honda rider still took a strong top 20 finish.
As expected, it was extremely tight around the small, 1.2-mile Indy circuit with the whole field split by only three seconds and after placing 28th in the opening qualifying session, Dan lapped almost half a second quicker in Saturday’s second session. Although this kept him in the same position, he was only 1.5s adrift of pole position and another half second would have put him comfortably inside the top 15.
Confident of a good result, a good start was always going to be crucial for the Manxman and he did exactly that to move inside the top 20 at the completion of the first lap. With the whole field evenly matched, there was little to choose between any of the riders and overtaking was proving difficult as Dan found. However, lapping over half a second than what he had done in qualifying he put in a solid performance on the Honda and crossed the line in 19th place, only five seconds adrift of tenth.
Dan Kneen: “It was a good, enjoyable race although I was a little bit disappointed that I didn’t make the most of the bike with new tyres at the beginning of the race. I made a good start and tried to stay out of trouble on the first lap, quickly latching on to the back of a train of riders. Johnny Blackshaw had a couple of moments in front of me though and by the time I’d got by, I'd lost the tow a bit to the group in front of me. I lapped half a second quicker in the race that I had done in qualifying though and on the last lap of the race, I was the fourth fastest rider on track so if I could just have got stuck in a bit more in the first few laps, I think I could have scored some more points.”
“Like I say, I really enjoyed the race and it was a decent result given I’m still a bit rusty and getting back up to bike fitness. We ran a similar set-up to what Glen Richards ran last year and we’re just trying to get the bike suited to my style at the moment but we’re moving forward all the time. I’m learning the bike all the time and these first two Superstock rounds have certainly served their purpose as we’ve got in plenty of track time on the bike. I’m now looking forward to getting on the other bikes and preparing further still for the North West 200 and TT.”
Dan now heads to Castle Combe with the team where he’ll be testing the Superbike, Supersport and Superstock machines in preparation for next month’s International North West 200 road races.
Picture by Tim Keeton – Impact Images Photography
Pirelli National Superstock 1000cc Championship (24 laps)
1 Josh Elliott (Kawasaki)
2 Adam Jenkinson (Yamaha)
3 Hudson Kennaugh (BMW)
4 James Rose (Kawasaki)
5 Alastair Seeley (BMW)
6 Jesse Trayler (Kawasaki)
19 Dan Kneen (Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Honda)
Championship standings (after two rounds)
1 Elliott 45pts
2 Kennaugh 41
3 Jenkinson 33
4 Seeley 27
5 Quigley 19
6 Trayler 16
11 Kneen 8