Dan Kneen was in action at Thruxton at the weekend for the 2nd round of the Metzeler National Superstock 1000cc Championship and although he was unable to open his points account for the season, he was able to make good progress and finished in a deserved 18th place.
With opening qualifying on Friday taking place in good, dry conditions, the Manxman was hopeful of a good start to the weekend but he again experienced problems with the quickshifter and a time of 1m20.566s kept him down in 34th place. However, just like the opening round at Brands Hatch over Easter, any hopes of improving on this were dashed by the weather as final qualifying on Saturday was hit by heavy rain. That meant that Dan lined up for the 8-lap Shoot-Out race later that day but a good 2nd place saw him comfortably progress to Sunday's main 15-lap encounter.
Picture by Glynne Lewis
Starting from 32nd on the grid, Dan was going to have to contend with a lot of traffic if he wanted to make strides forward but he did just that and a brilliant opening lap saw him overhaul 11 riders to move up to 21st. With the safety car being deployed for a spill, positions remained the same for the next few laps and when racing resumed, Dan was involved in a big group of riders battling it out for tenth place. As the race wore on, his position fluctuated but, lapping quicker than he had done all weekend, he moved up inside the top 20 in the closing stages and got the better of Patrick Medcalf on the final lap to take a well-earned 18th.
Speaking after the race, Dan said; "It's been a topsy turvy weekend to be fair with some sessions going well and others not so well. I was pleased with how I rode in the Shoot Out race and some further changes in morning warm-up made the bike better still. However, for some reason it wasn't so good in the race and I struggled for rear grip, the increase in wind also affecting the bike. I had a great opening lap though and picked up a few places so it's good to get two solid races under my belt. The bike still needs tweaking a bit but we're definitely getting there so we'll hopefully get a run out on it between now and the next round and ensure we can hit the ground running. I need to make sure I'm on the pace in the first session and if I can do that, I'm confident I can get in amongst the points."
Phil Wain - Freelance PR