Dan Kneen made the most of his Mar-Train Racing debut on Monday scoring a brace of podium finishes on his YZF-R1M superbike. Indeed the Manx man was unlucky not to post a victory in race two as he was narrowly pipped to the line by reigning ISB champion Ryan Rainey.
After qualifying in second place Kneen finished in a safe second place in race one, just over half a second off Rainey but almost two seconds clear of third place Nikki Coates. Race two was a titanic battle between Rainey, Kneen, Coates, Mawhinney and McCormack, the top four eventually covered by just six tenths of a second at the chequered flag. In the end, despite leading out of the final turn, Kneen had to settle for second as Rainey out dragged him to the line to win by one tenth of a second.
Team Principal – Tim Martin
“Dan rode really well today, he is still learning the bike and we are still trying new settings but he had his race face on and could easily have come away with a victory. He was lapping just three tenths off the lap record and had it not been for a small mistake on the run to the line would have lifted his first trophy of the year. All in all a very positive start to the year and great to see Yamaha first and second in both races.”
Rider – Dan Kneen
“I enjoyed today’s run out, testing is one thing but to get a race under your belt is a different matter so I feel ready now for the season ahead. The R1 was working really well and I should have taken the win in the second race but I can’t complain, Rainey was on form all day. I’m looking forward now to the start of the roads campaign in a few weeks and a busy two months of racing.”
Tandragee 100 – 22nd / 23rd April
Cookstown 100 – 29th / 30th April
Photo courtesy of Baylon McCaughey – www.irishracephotography.com
Well Its that time of year again and I've just had the first outing on the Mar-Train Yamaha's.
We were at the Pro Test in Cartagena organised by Barry Symmons, Day 1 started good, I was really enjoying the new bikes and just feeling my way into it after a long lay off. In the second session on the Sbk I managed to Flick myself off, I'm not sure how it happened but maybe there was something on the edge of the track as I wasn't pushing on which messed my head up a bit. It was a nasty high side and I battered myself about a fair bit as well as knocking myself out which put a downer on things at the start but after being checked out at hospital finding I'd luckily broke no bones and was just tissue damage I got myself sorted for Saturday and was able to get back out.
I have to say without Francis West the Physio at the track I would have struggled to ride so thanks to her, when i got back out I made sure just to keep the laps down in each session as we had Sbk, Stk and Supersport back to back and that way I was able to give good feedback on all bikes and help Andy my crew chief work through any improvements we could make.
I know the R6 from riding them in the past so that was just a case of laps and getting used to the different spec bike so I'm happy with more time I can go well on that.
The R1 m also has a lot of potential as last year showed at lots of events and I was impressed straight away with how smooth it was to ride, although there are areas to improve which we made a massive improvement over 2 days alone I'm sure with the team I have behind me we will have it sorted soon.
Now I'm back home I can get my body sorted and ready for the next test.
Till next time.
Mar-Train racing are delighted to announce they have signed Manxman Dan Kneen for the 2016 road racing season.
Following weeks of speculation the Yamaha UK team can confirm they will run the twenty eight year old on their YZF-R6 and YZF-R1M machines at the three International road races plus other selected events which will be confirmed at a later date.
Kneen burst onto the road racing scene in 2008 when he became the first newcomer to win three races in a week at the Manx Grand Prix, since then the Douglas man has notched up over a dozen top ten finishes at the TT including a fifth place in the 2010 supersport race. 2014 was undoubtedly Kneen’s best season however winning the Ulster and Irish Superbike championships as well as scoring his maiden International victory at the Ulster Grand Prix.
2016 is the second of a two year programme for Mar-Train to develop the all new YZF-R1M for pure road racing with the Lisburn outfit having already started to reap the rewards of their hard work towards the end of 2015. Team owner Tim Martin believes Kneen will benefit from their year of development with a stable of race winning machinery at his disposal to add to his International success.
Tim Martin, Team Principal
“We are a million miles from where we started 2015 with the YZF-R1M, the improvements were evident at the Gold Cup and we have been working with YMUK in the off season to ensure we have an even stronger package for 2016. I am excited about our prospects for this year, we needed to ensure we had a hungry young rider capable of delivering the potential of our bikes and I am really pleased we have managed to secure that in Dan. He has won at the UGP, he lapped the TT at 130mph last year and was running top sixes before mechanical issues at the North West 200 so he is perfectly capable of challenging for International honours with us. He fits in well with our team structure and I am looking forward to getting out testing and working with him.”
Karl Radley, Motorsport Co-ordinator for Yamaha UK
“Yamaha are really pleased to welcome Dan on board with Mar-Train Racing. He’s clearly a talented rider and with the new R1 underneath him the Manxman will be a force to be reckoned with on his home turf as well as the NW200 and Ulster Grand Prix. With such positive news we can’t wait to get the 2016 season underway.”
“I just wish it was the beginning of the season now, I’ve spoken to Tim before but the time is right now and hopefully it will be a perfect match for us. The bikes are definitely good enough for the job, I had my best ever TT result on an R6 Yamaha and the R1 is only going to get better and better. I get on really well with the guys in the team as well, I met up with Andy Jamison last week and we seem to be on the same wavelength which is really positive. It’s also great to be working with Yamaha UK as I know how closely they work with the team, it’s just a waiting game now to get to Spain testing and then on to what should be a great year.”
Dan Kneen’s strong start to the 2015 Isle of Man TT Races continued on Monday and Tuesday when he took two more top twelve finishes with ninth in Monday’s Supersport and 12th in Tuesday’s Superstock encounter.
After finishing seventh in the opening Superbike race, the Valvoline Racing by Padgetts Honda rider was back in action in the 4-lap Supersport race, which was delayed until Monday evening. An opening lap of 123.732mph saw Dan slot into 11th place but he moved up two places to ninth second time around. Although he wasn’t able to climb any higher in the second half of the race, his final lap of 123.747mph allowed him to take his second top ten finish of the week.
The 4-lap Superstock race was subsequently put back to Tuesday afternoon and it was the bike that Dan had completed the less laps on during practice week. Two opening laps of almost 128mph allowed him to take 12th position and in what proved to be a fairly uneventful race for the Braddan rider this was where he finished at the end of the 150.92-mile race.
Dan Kneen: “I enjoyed the Supersport race and although I didn’t have much practice time on the bike, I got going at the start and got my head down. I plugged away and caught Michael Rutter on the road and although I got held up a bit, we had a good ride round. We caught Cameron Donald up as well and although I lost a bit of time at the pits, I soon got back with them. Cameron was flying by then so I followed him over the Mountain and brought the bike home for another good top ten finish.”
“The Superstock race went ok and again my plan was to get going early on in the race. I caught Ryan Farquhar quite early on but got held up a bit so, after that, I tried to get back into my rhythm as quick as possible. I looked behind me a couple of times and there was no-one behind me but David Johnson and Peter Hickman came out of nowhere so I tried to hang on to them. Given the lack of track time during practice, I’m happy enough with the result.”
Dan’s next race is the second Supersport race which is due to get underway at 10.45 on wednesday