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Difficult Weekend for Kruger in China‏

Difficult Weekend for Kruger in China‏

Written by  on Wednesday, 24 June 2015 17:39

June 19-21, 2015 - Zhuhai, China - Air temp 34c/Track temp 43c - Sunny/humid - Rounds 3 & 4 of the Pan Delta Superbike Series were held in extreme heat and humidity this past weekend at the Zhuhai International Circuit in Zhuhai, China.

  Factory Yamaha was out in full force with their factory-spec 2015 R1 Superbikes, and EBR had hired World Superbike Rider Mark Aitchison out of Australia to ride their 1190 Superbike.  With 40 bikes on the grid, it was going to be the most competitive event to date.  Over 20,000 spectators filled the grandstands as the bikes made their way out for qualifying. 

Dan Kruger had been consistently in the mix with both the Yamaha boys and EBR in official practice.  We put in a flying lap towards the end of qualifying that put us solidly on the front row, 3rd overall.  EBR secured the pole.  We later found out we were disqualified for parking our bike in the pit garage.  The rules state that the bike must remain on pit lane during the entire qualifying session.  We applied to start at the back of the grid and were accepted.

RACE ONE: Starting on row 14 in 40th place, Dan had moved into 13th by lap three and was up into fourth by lap 6.  At that point, the top three had built up too much of a buffer and we had nothing for them.  Based on the situation, we were happy to take fourth and put ourselves on the second row for race two.

RACE TWO:  We realized we were seriously underpowered at this round and tried to create a new map that would help us out for race two.  Unfortunately, we ended up with a mapping issue that was only realized when the race started.  Both first and second gear would only rev to 6,000 rpm.  Not only did this mess up Dan’s start but there are two corners on this circuit that require the use of second gear; Dan chose to use third which clearly was a setback.  From the moment the lights went out on lap one, we realized that salvaging another fourth would be the best we could do.

Dan Kruger: “What can I say, the weekend was challenging.  On a positive, my team worked amazing together and we had great support from our friends, sponsors, and the fans.  That is about all I can say on the positive side.  We struggled all week with performance and quickly realized the new Yamaha Superbike is a force to be reckoned with.  Kawasaki has done a great job for five years dominating the race scene.  We realized this weekend that it was time to step up our game in terms of machine performance.  We had a long meeting after the 2nd race with the top brass at Kawasaki who happened to be at the event. They confirmed we will have a new package in time for the final two rounds of the series this September.”

We are also in talks with some big name tuners/electronics gurus from the US that may come over to give us a hand for the September event.

Our team remains optimistic as we have full support from Kawasaki, we are sitting in third overall in the championship standings, with a shot at the title still.  This race weekend was a reality check for us but we are confident that we will come back with a stronger package for September and give the Yamahas a run for the championship.

We want to thank our sponsors Titanic Kawasaki, Pirelli, Motul, Mototron, Hindle, RK, OZ, Vemar, SK Support, and Nature Power.  Next stop for Dan is back to Suzuka for the 2nd Official 8 Hour test July 7-8 in Japan.  Follow Dan  at www.facebook.com/dankrugerracingteam

Submitted by Dan Kruger Racing

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Wally Nesbitt

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