Dan Kneen has taken over from Dean Harrison in Ulster team Mar-Train Racing for the international road races in 2016.

The Manx rider, who competed for Clive Padgett's Honda outfit this year, will ride the YZF-R1M Superbike and Superstock machines plus an R6 in the Supersport category.

Kneen will spearhead Yamaha UK's official road racing effort at the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix plus selected road races, which will be confirmed in due course.

The delighted 28-year-old said: "I just wish it was the beginning of the season now, I've spoken to Tim before but the time is right now and hopefully it will be a perfect match for us.

"The bikes are definitely good enough for the job. I had my best ever TT result on an R6 Yamaha and the R1 is only going to get better and better. I get on really well with the guys in the team as well.

"I met up with Andy Jamison last week and we seem to be on the same wavelength, which is really positive. It's also great to be working with Yamaha UK as I know how closely they work with the team; it's just a waiting game now to get to Spain testing and then on to what should be a great year."

Team principal Martin said he had no doubt Kneen would make a big impression next season as he bids to add to his sole international race win, achieved in the Superstock race at the Ulster Grand Prix in 2014.

"We are a million miles from where we started 2015 with the YZF-R1M," Martin said.

"The improvements were evident at the Gold Cup [when Harrison won the feature race] and we have been working with Yamaha UK in the off season to ensure we have an even stronger package for 2016.

"I am excited about our prospects for this year; we needed to ensure we had a hungry young rider capable of delivering the potential of our bikes and I am really pleased we have managed to secure that in Dan," he added.

"He has won at the Ulster Grand Prix, lapped the TT at 130mph last year and was running top sixes before mechanical issues at the North West 200, so he is perfectly capable of challenging for international honours with us.

"He fits in well with our team structure and I am looking forward to getting out testing and working with him."


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