Belfast Telegraph

TT must go on, says father of tragic Dan

By Adam McKendry

Dan Kneen's father has insisted that this weekend's Isle of Man TT must continue despite his son's tragic passing at the event on Wednesday.

Richard Kneen posted an emotional statement on social media yesterday, just a few hours after seeing his son lose his life during qualifying practice around the treacherous Mountain Course.

The Tyco BMW rider lost control at the Churchtown section of the circuit, crashing into a tree and succumbing to his wounds.

However, father Richard said he wished for the races to go ahead regardless.

Richard wrote: "Dan lived for his racing and wild horses wouldn't have torn him away from it. I was happy for him, he was in his element.

"My thoughts are for Leanne and my other son Ryan and our whole family. Dan would want us to be strong and for the Tyco team to crack on, they have my full backing. Let's think of the happy times with Dan and smile when you think of him.

"Best wishes for all the other TT competitors. The TT show will go on. RIP my son Daniel Richard Kneen, from Dad."

Northern Irish rider Glenn Irwin was among those leading the tributes to Kneen, the local lad who was a well-liked figure in the paddock.

"There are riders we admire on the track and riders off it. Few have both," Irwin posted on Twitter.

"Dan (would) never walk past without saying hello to me, Laura and Freddie.

"After riding with Dan in North West 200 Qualifying his commitment and bravery blew me away in the men's corners.Rest in peace Dan Kneen."

Kneen's Tyco BMW teammate Michael Laverty, from Toome, added: "A nicer guy you won't meet."

English rider Sam Lowes said in a post on Twitter: "RIP Dan Kneen. Very nice man, and great rider.

"Lucky enough to have had few conversations last couple of years living on the island. Thoughts with all (his) family and friends. Sad time."

Padgetts Motorcycles also paid tribute to the Manx rider, saying: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Dan Kneen family and friends tonight. God bless you Dan."

Meanwhile, race organisers have announced a new procedure for racing under red flag conditions after an incident during Wednesday's qualifying practice involving a rider and a race course vehicle.

Kent rider Steve Mercer is in a critical but stable condition in hospital after he collided with a course vehicle which was attending to the incident involving Kneen.

Mercer, under instructions from race officials, was returning to the paddock backwards on the course after the red flag when the incident occurred at Ballacrye.

The statement read: "Gary Thompson, MBE, Clerk of the Course, Isle of Man TT Races has confirmed that following the collision which involved the Course Inspection Car and a rider during Wednesday evening's Superbike Qualifying session, the following procedure will now take place with immediate effect.

"A Red Flag instruction will apply to the entire TT Mountain Course irrespective of where that incident occurred.

"There will be no movement on the TT Mountain Course by any rider until the incident has been cleared, regardless of how long that incident may take to clear.

"The riders will only be permitted to move in Course direction under the control of Travelling Marshals front and rear."

Belfast Telegraph

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