Dan Kneen to fill in for Hutchinson at Ulster GP
Tyco BMW have announced that Manx ace Dan Kneen will ride for them at the MCE Ulster Grand Prix. With Ian Hutchinson still recovering from injuries received in the Senior TT, former UGP winner Kneen will be the team's sole rider at the final international road race of the year.
Kneen has been in sparkling form this season, picking up his first TT podium in the Superstock race behind Hutchinson and Peter Hickman, and in his local Southern 100 the 30-year-old came away with four runner-up positions in the Superbike events, only Michael Dunlop and Dean Harrison getting the better of him.
Kneen said: "It's nice to be asked to ride for Tyco BMW.
"The opportunity has come up due to Hutchy's injury, so I'd like to wish him all the best with his recovery.
"It's also nice to be given the chance on merit, because of the results I've been getting."
Kneen has won three times around the 7.4-mile circuit, taking victory in the 2010 Dundrod 150 National and Dundrod 150 Challenge races.
He then recorded his first international road race victory in the 2014 UGP Superstock when he was involved in a dramatic scrap with Harrison and Bruce Anstey, winning by the narrowest of margins (0.001 seconds).
Riding this season for the DTR Penz13.com BMW team, Kneen recently finished first and second during the Imatra road races in Finland, so his knowledge of BMW will have been a big plus for this Tyco BMW opportunity.
"I have been doing well on BMW machinery," Kneen said.
"That in itself should make things easier jumping onto the Tyco BMW.
"TAS are known as one of the top teams in the paddock and I'm looking forward to working with the lads and I'd like to thank all my personal sponsors for letting me take this chance."
TAS boss Philip Neill said: "With Hutchy out we could have taken the opportunity for a well-earned break from our hectic schedule, but we are big fans of the UGP and have a good record at the event, while we also enjoy bringing the whole show home to race in front of home fans.
"Dan has shown great form of late on BMW Motorrad machinery and shown that he can mix it with the best on the roads.
"We look forward to working with him at the UGP."
Noel Johnston, Clerk of the Course, said: "Dan has been riding exceptionally well and deserves his chance with Philip and the Tyco BMW team.
"He's won at Dundrod before and I think given his recent form coupled with the team and BMW machinery he seems comfortable with, this year could represent one of his best chances of further success."
Bike Week runs from August 6-12 and tickets are available from Ticketmaster.
Meanwhile, British Talent Cup bosses received more than 200 applications from young riders within the British Isles to form part of the inaugural event.
The selection committee, including British talent scout Jeremy McWilliams, have assessed each application and 90 riders have been invited to Silverstone, ahead of the British MotoGP, for the next stage - a full day of riding Honda NSF 250cc machines - with the final list the entrants who will make up the first grid in the BTC, their first taste of the Road to MotoGP.
A number of young riders from Ireland are in the 90, including Luke Clements, Rhys Irwin, Sam Laffins, Oisin Maher and Scott Swann.