Kruger ended the weekend in fine form despite a number of setbacks. Eight riders came down with a bad flu, all within 24 hours, including Kruger. Kruger also had to fly a stock Kawasaki ZX-10R over from Canada as his proper Superbikes were stuck in China with customs issues. The same thing happened to Dan's teammate Jeremy Toye, who couldn't find a backup bike and called it a weekend.
Kruger's Titanic team benefitted by getting the use of Toye's highly qualified crew chief and data specialist for the weekend. In addition, Kruger's China mechanics were on hand and built a Macau-ready Superstock bike within 24 hours. The last setback was in Q2, when Dan's Kawasaki suffered a rare electrical issue (bad relay/fuse) and had to miss the entire 45 minute qualifier, which was much needed track time for the newcomer.
Setbacks aside, Kruger surprised some by just qualifying for the field. He then managed to finish 20th in the race out of the invited 32 riders, remaining on the lead lap and setting his fastest lap of the weekend on the final lap of the race.
"I never thought I would be so pleased with finishing back in 20th," said Kruger after the race. "Everyone was saying how this was the most competitive grid in the history of the event. I was one of only three newcomers this year and I ended up finishing top newcomer. Stuart Easton was in a league of his own and easily controlled the race. Michael Rutter had his hands full with both Johnson and Martin Jessop but held on to second. Jessop completed the podium. When legendary road racers like John McGuinness barely crack the top ten, you know you are in a strong field."
Over 80,000 Spectators were on hand over the event's four days, and the weather was perfect.
"The energy of the event is like no other event in the world," said Kruger. "You can hear the roar of the Superbikes throughout Macau and it is simply amazing. Macau is often ranked the most dangerous race in the world due to the lack of run-off and steel barriers and concrete walls that outline the circuit. Every corner is blind and there are no apex or braking mark references."
"I don't think I will ever forget being topped out in fifth and heading into Mandarin Oriental bend and seeing a waving yellow flag. It is a blind corner like all others and you are going over 200 km/h. Some crazy visuals pass through your head in that split second. I made the corner and sure enough, there was a bike engulfed in flames, but thankfully off the racing line. I immediately shifted into sixth and put my head down."
"After the first session, I had a look at my brand new race leathers for the event and couldn't help but smile after seeing the right shoulder completely scuffed from rubbing against the inside concrete from several of the turns. I really felt that was a turning point for me in terms of belonging at this mega event."
The other riders were very supportive, the private parties were epic, and Kruger can't wait to be back in 2015. He will have a proper Macau Superbike built and be pushing for a Top10 Result.
Kruger would like to thank the Macau Committee for the invitation to the event, Titanic Kawasaki, Motul, Moto-Tron, RK, OZ, Hindle, Pirelli, Spidi, Vemar, UPG, SBS, Nature Power, Sammo, Matt, Frank, and Ben along with the entire Penz13 Team. Follow us on facebook: www.facebook.com/dankrugerracingteam
Submitted by Dankruger Racing