Belfast Telegraph

Dan Kneen hoping for some long overdue luck at the NW200

 

By Roy Harris

Manxman Dan Kneen is determined to change his fortune at the Vauxhall International North West 200, with the popular event now just two weeks away.

The Braddan man, who made his North West debut in 2009 after enhancing his reputation by becoming the first three-in-a-week winner at the 2008 Manx Grand Prix, reflected on the bad luck he has experienced at the Triangle.

The new recruit to the Tyco BMW team said: "I've had good results at the other internationals, but I've always seemed to have had issues and problems with bikes at the North West.

"However, I'm looking forward to the meeting this year with the Tyco BMW team. I've never had the kind of support they provide and I'm confident we can do well."

Kneen stepped into the breach for the Moneymore-based squad for the Ulster Grand Prix after Ian Hutchinson's injury and repaid owners Hector and Philip Neill by securing podium finishes at Dundrod, results that landed him the plum ride for 2018 with the Tyco BMW outfit.

Last year was a good year for the 31-year-old, as it included his first Isle of Man TT rostrum when he took the DTR BMW to third position in the Superstock race behind Hutchinson and Peter Hickman.

Kneen has started his 2018 campaign with positive results in the British Superstock series, taking three top-10 finishes during the opening round at Donington Park.

Kneen said: "We did Donington and the Brands Hatch rounds and they went really well, plus we have had some testing in Spain and at Castle Combe, so everything is going according to plan and I am happy with the bikes."

His first local outing on the Tyco BMW Superstock-spec machine will be at Tandragee this weekend.

"This will be all about working with the team to get the bike dialled in. The team have been with BMW since 2015 and these bikes have everything you would want on them," added Kneen.

"All the little details that make the difference are sorted."

Alongside his Tyco BMW commitments in Superbike and Superstock, Kneen will also race a CBR600RR Jackson Racing Honda in both Supersport races at the North West.

Tyco BMW go into the North West with the most successful rider in the event's history in Alastair Seeley, who has 21 wins to his name, and Michael Dunlop, the current lap record holder around the 8.9-mile Triangle at 123.207mph, but Kneen is undaunted by his new team-mates and their imposing credentials.

"I haven't really thought about Alastair or Michael and I haven't been in the team with them yet," he revealed.

"I will be doing what I am doing and getting on with my own plans. Anyway, maybe they will be more worried with each other than they are about me."

Belfast Telegraph

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