ISLE OF MAN – Leading Isle of Man TT rider Dan Kneen is aiming for his first TT Races podium in 2013 as he again lines up with the Marks Bloom Racing team for the Isle of Man TT Races fueled by Monster Energy.
Since becoming the first rider ever to win a hat-trick at the Manx Grand Prix, a feat he achieved in 2008, the Braddan rider has become a regular fixture in the top ten at the Isle of Man TT. He has also performed well at the North West 200 and Ulster GP, and was the fastest newcomer in history at the latter when he lapped at 129.25mph in 2010.
The 25-year old’s highest place at the TT races to date is fifth in the Supersport A Race in 2010, and he has established himself as one of the leading Supersport racers, but he is aiming to step up in all the main classes this year.
“I’ve got my best results in Supersport at the TT but I’m looking to get in amongst the leaders in the Superstock and Superbike classes at the TT as well this year,” Kneen said. “I’d love to win a TT one day but I need to work up to it and I’d be delighted to get on the podium this year.”
It will be the fifth-consecutive season that Marks Bloom, Chartered Accountants and Insolvency Practitioners in Kingston upon Thames, has supplied machinery for Kneen, who will be racing a Suzuki GSXR600 in the Monster Energy Supersport races, a Suzuki GSXR1000 in the Royal London 360 Superstock race and the same K11 Suzuki GSXR1000 Superbike he rode last year in the Dainese Superbike race. He’ll also campaign the Track Electronics ER6 Kawasaki for the Lightweight TT.
At last year’s TT meeting, after a solid 11th in the opening Superbike race, he was holding onto a superb fifth place in the first Supersport race and embroiled in a hectic six-man battle for the final podium spot only to suffer a spill exiting Governor’s Bridge when he hit a damp patch at the end of the third lap. With back injuries the outcome, it not only ended his race but also his meeting and a two-month spell on the sidelines followed.
However, he bounced back to record strong top ten finishes at both the Ulster Grand Prix and Macau Grand Prix and he comes into 2013 as a contender for success in all classes.
“Ever since the end of last season, we’ve been working really hard with the bikes to ensure they’re fully prepared from the word go and I can’t wait for my first outing in a couple of weeks’ time,” Kneen said. “With new machines, we were a bit behind where we wanted to be this time last year and it took me a while to get totally dialled in but that’s certainly not the case this time around and we should hit the ground running.
“We’ve improved the Suzukis considerably over the winter months and am in a strong position coming into this season so I’m firmly aiming at the podium places at the TT. The competition will be as tough as always so I know the task ahead but I’ve proved I can run with the top boys, particularly in the Supersport class, so that’s where I want to be. Contesting the first couple of Thundersport rounds will give me plenty of track time on both the Superbike and Supersport machines so by the time I get to the North West 200, everything will in place for me to be running up at the front from the off,” Kneen said.