24 April 2016
Tandragee 100: Dan Kneen shines on Yamaha roads bow
'The Mar-Train boys have done a great job with the bikes so it's nice to repay them so early in the season' - Dan Kneen.
Manx rider Dan Kneen clinched the Superbike honours at the Tandragee 100 Irish road races on Saturday in a brilliant debut on the Mar-Train Yamaha R1.
Kneen was controversially hit with a one-minute penalty for jumping the start of the first Superbike event after he had crossed the line in first place ahead of Derek Sheils (Cookstown B.E. Suzuki).
Following a protest, both riders were penalised by 60 seconds, bumping them down the order to 10th and 11th places respectively.
Ryan Farquhar was declared the new winner of the race in the revised results on his IEG BMW from William Dunlop, who was riding the MSS Kawasaki Superstock machine on the roads for the first time, with Bolton's Malachi Mitchell-Thomas – making his Tandragee bow – third on the Cookstown B.E. Suzuki Superstock machine.
However, a counter-appeal has been launched by Kneen's Mar-Train Racing team, which is due to be heard by the sport's governing body, the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland.
Braddan man Kneen, who took over in the Ulster team from Dean Harrison, made certain there was no confusion over the outcome in the feature Superbike race as he dominated on the R1 from start to finish, taking victory by six seconds from Sheils and Mitchell-Thomas.
Farquhar, who seemed to have a problem with his BMW S1000RR, finished sixth behind Derek McGee (Williamson BMW) and Dunlop.
A delighted Kneen said: “I really enjoyed the racing today and it was great to get my first wins for Mar-Train, the boys have done a great job with the bikes so it's nice to repay them so early in the season.
“I followed Derek [Sheils] in the Open race for a while but knew I could go a bit quicker so I had a go and managed to pull away.
“I sat behind the guys in the first run of the Grand Final and the pace was steady so I knew I could get away on the restart. The main thing was just keeping my concentration after that, fantastic to make it two from two at Tandragee.”
William Dunlop won a thrilling Supersport 600 race on the CD-IC Racing Yamaha, catching and passing Mitchell-Thomas and Kneen before edging away to win by 1.2 seconds from the Manx rider.
In the Supertwins class, Ryan Farquhar picked up another win on the SGS KMR Kawasaki, only just coming out on top of a battle with newcomer Mitchell-Thomas, who went wide at the final corner on the last lap after a race-long duel.
Joey Dunlop's son Gary, riding in his second road race, finished sixth in the 125cc race, which was won by Sam Wilson.
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