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Stewart secures 'best TT deal yet'

'Everything's in place for me to have my best ever year at the TT' - Dan Stewart
Reigning Isle of Man TT Privateer champion Dan Stewart is targeting a 130mph lap on the Mountain circuit in June after signing a deal with SMT Honda.

The 37-year-old Cumbrian will ride for Robin Croft's team at the TT and possibly the Ulster Grand Prix this season.

Stewart has been one of the most consistent performers at the TT, racking up 16 top ten finishes since 2006, including three consecutive top six places in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

He retains the backing of Wilcock Consulting for a tenth year and will ride a Honda Fireblade, Kawasaki ZX-10R Superstock and Honda CBR600RR.

The National Superstock 1000 contender believes he now has his best opportunity yet to shine at the TT, where he has set his sights on breaking the 130mph barrier.

Nineteen-times TT winner John McGuinness currently holds the outright lap record for the 37.73-mile roads course at 131.578mph set in 2009.

Stewart said: “I'm delighted to be joining Robin's team.

“I'll have a better set-up for 2013 than ever before and with SMT's considerable expertise and knowledge, it should allow me to post more consistent lap times and, hopefully, break the 130mph barrier and improve upon my previous best finish of sixth.

“Everything's in place for me to have my best ever year at the TT.”

Former British Supersport champion Karl Harris made his Isle of Man TT debut with SMT Racing in 2012.

Croft's SMT Racing team has an impressive British Superbike and international road racing pedigree, previously running star names including James Ellison, Chris Walker and Michael Rutter.

A lack of funding has prevented the team from competing in BSB in recent years, however SMT Racing was back in the headlines last November as Rutter dominated at the Macau Grand Prix to claim a record eighth success.

Croft told the Belfast News Letter: “The deal has worked out well for us so far and I think Dan's best chances are in the three big bike races at the TT.




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