ZHUHAI, China – Still badly injured from a high speed crash at the Suzuka 8 Hour World Endurance race on July 27, Canadian superbike rider Dan Kruger still managed a third and second in the final rounds of the Pan Delta Superbike Championship in China on Sept. 21. That was enough to secure second overall in the 2014 China Superbike Championship.
The weather cooperated in the end with a typhoon passing through just days prior to the big event. The Kawasaki Superbike team prepared a race-winning motorcycle and it really came down to Kruger managing the pain and riding through his injuries.
“What can I say? I knew heading into the weekend that I would be racing to finish and unfortunately not for the win,” Kruger admitted. “I have been unable to ride or even train since the Suzuka crash almost six weeks ago and at this point, I simply need to get healthy and get prepared for the 2015 season.
“My race bike was a rocket and we finally got the K-tech suspension sorted out and I now love it and can’t wait to use it again at Phillip Island next month.”
In race one, Kruger was dicing with the two frontrunners and the three of them were in a race of their own, putting down identical lap times and exchanging positions several time. The race was red-flagged a few laps in and after the re-start, Australian Superbike regular Ben Burke got the best of factory Yamaha rider Zhao with Kruger struggling to hang on for third.
Race two saw Kruger get a great start but unable to keep the pace several laps in due to his injuries. He moved up to second when Burke ran deep in turn nine, opening the door for both Zhao and Kruger. All Kruger could do was hope the leader would make an error or have a mechanical issue. It wasn’t to happen.
This event was the busiest ever with over 30,000 spectators. It was a full-house and there were lots of activities going on. The Superbike races are televised live on CCTV5 in almost all of China and are without question the highlight of the weekend as they always have the spectators on their feet. The most recent event had 40 riders entered and the fastest lap times ever recorded at a Pan Delta event.
The team wants to thank all of its sponsors for always being there and providing the tools and budget needed to chase for the championship. With all existing sponsors already confirmed with the team for 2015, the Kawasaki Superbike Team will be the one to beat in 2015.
“This has been a year to remember with races at the iconic Isle of Man, Northwest 200 in Northern Ireland, Suzuka 8 Hour and races in the Czech Republic, Australia, Germany, and of course the China Superbike Championship,” Kruger added. “It was also the year I would lose my team mate and friend Simon Andrews, be team mates with Michael Dunlop, and experience the highs and lows of this sport first-hand. I now need to focus on getting healthy again and take everything I learned and put it towards 2015.”
The team would like to thank Kawasaki, Titanic, Pirelli, Motul, Hindle, RK, OZ, Mototron, SBS, Spidi, Vemar, Nature Power, SK Support, Team JP, and UPG for all the support and look forward to promoting all of these great companies in 2015.
Kruger would like to personally thank Sammo Matt, Walter, and his agent Stefan who really made a lot happen in 2014. Stay up to date with all Dan’s racing at his fan site on Facebook.
–From Dan Kruger