Kneen the man to beat at Tandragee
Dan Kneen was in scintillating form at the 56th Around a Pound Tandragee 100 as he handed Mar-Train racing the feature race victory on their debut at the event.
Starting from pole position the Manx man took the lead at the beginning of lap two and came within a fraction of a second of breaking the lap record as he pulled away from the BE Racing duo of Shiels and Mitchell-Thomas to record a six second win.
Earlier in the day Kneen picked up where he left off in 2014 by winning the opening superbike race by four seconds from Shiels and Farquhar. A subsequent protest regarding a suggested jump start by Kneen and Shiels has been appealed due to lack of any evidence and will be reviewed by the governing body in due course. There was no doubt about the winner on the day though as twenty eight year old Kneen took his first victory for Yamaha UK and Mar-Train racing.
After qualifying 3rd for the supersport 600 race Kneen was involved in a titanic battle for the victory with class specialist William Dunlop. The Douglas resident shadowed Dunlop for the majority of the race after earlier swapping the lead with Mitchell-Thomas but back markers put an end to any chance of a win in the closing stages, eventually finishing second.
Rider – Dan Kneen
“I really enjoyed the racing today and it was great to get my first wins for Mar-Train, the boys have done a great job with the bikes so it’s nice to repay them so early in the season. I followed Derek in the Open race for a while but knew I could go a bit quicker so had a go and managed to pull away. I haven’t gone well on a 600 for a few years so to run with William today was really positive, it’s the most I’ve enjoyed riding a 600 in a long time. I sat behind the guys in the first run of the grand final and the pace was steady so I knew I could get away on the restart. The main thing was just keeping my concentration after that, fantastic to make it two from two at Tandragee.”
Team Principal – Tim Martin
“If we thought Dan’s short circuit performances were impressive then today was just phenomenal. Only his second time at Tandragee so to come away with a superbike double and second in supersport is a dream start to our road racing campaign. You work hard all winter to try and hit the ground running so when it happens it is especially satisfying. All credit goes to the guys in my team and YMUK for the progress with the bikes. The controversy after the open was frustrating, I have watched the video and there is no evidence to substantiate the protest so hopefully the powers that be make the right decision in the end.”
Mar-Train now move on to the KDM Cookstown 100 in one week’s time in their final outing before the International North West 200.