Dan Kneen’s 2013 season was halted at last week’s Southern 100 road races with the Manxman suffering a broken elbow after crashing during Wednesday evening’s Supersport 600cc race.
The spill, which occurred at Castletown Corner, means the 26-year olds frustrating season continues and will once more leave him on the sidelines for a number of weeks.
Having returned successfully from injury at last month’s Isle of Man TT Races, the Braddan rider had been dialling himself back into racing with some good results at Donington Park and, keen to make up for lost time, took in both the Snetterton round of the National Superstock 1000cc Championship and the Southern 100 last week.
The Snetterton meeting saw the Suzuki GSXR1000 plagued by a misfire but, after missing an entire qualifying session as a result, he managed to qualify and put in a strong ride to move from the back row of the grid to an eventual 23rd place. More importantly, it was another race under his belt and put him in a good frame of mind heading to the Southern 100, held on the 4.25-mile Billown course in the south of the Isle of Man.
With superb conditions on the Island, the week started well for Dan with a superb fifth place in the opening 1000cc race, and a near 110mph lap, and more of the same looked likely in Wednesday’s second Superbike encounter. However, just when another top five finish looked on the cards, a slight mistake saw him drop back although a new personal best lap of 109.860mph saw him fight back to take eighth at the chequered flag.
Later that evening Dan took in the Supersport 600cc race and he was running comfortably inside the top six only for cruel luck to intervene on the eighth and final lap. Exiting the final corner, with just a few hundred yards to the line, Dan was high-sided off the 600cc GSXR Suzuki landing heavily, with the later x-rays diagnosing the aforementioned broken elbow.
“It’s been a really frustrating, stop-start season for me and this injury just adds to that. After missing the early season meetings, I was getting dialled back in and the results were slowly improving but we’re down a bit on speed with the Supersport bike whilst the throttle’s like an on-off switch and I was having to ride the wheels off it to keep up with the likes of Michael Dunlop," said Kneen.
"I’d almost got another decent finish under my belt when it spat me off right at the very end. I came down heavy on my hands and wrist and thought I may have broken something there as they were really painful. My elbow wasn’t causing me any bother and it was only when it started swelling up that I noticed something was wrong.”
“The x-rays showed it was broken at the end and, once the swelling had been drained, the doctors plated and screwed it so now it’s a case of waiting to see how long how I’ll be out for. It’s a real shame as I was quite happy with how the big bike was going and the results were slowly coming but it just adds to the frustration of 2013.
"I’ve had a couple of sessions at the hyperbaric chamber already though and the cast is due to come off in two weeks time so I’d like to think I’ll be able to make it in time for the Ulster. Only time will tell but that’s the plan.”