During Supersport practice for the 2017 Isle of Man TT, Jackson Racing Honda pilot Lee Johnston suffered a crash. The Northern Irishman suffered fractures to his back, fingers and tailbone, which put an early end to his 2017 TT efforts.Under such short notice – 11 hours into the 2017 Isle of Man TT – Jackson Racing quickly found a substitute rider: Dan Kneen. The 30-year-old Manxman had zero practice on the Jackson Racking Honda CBR600RR, but finished eighth in the only Monster Energy Supersport race held last season (other was canceled due to nasty weather conditions).
The performance included a one-minute penalty for speeding in pit lane. During the race, Kneen also set a personal best in the 600cc class – a 125.882mph, which was also the fourth-fastest lap of the Monster Energy Supersport TT.Due to his positive efforts, Kneen has signed with Jackson Racing to compete in both 2018 Isle of Man TT Supersport races. He will also campaign the CBR600RR in the North West 200, the Ulster Grand Prix and the Southern 100. For the superbike TTs, Kneen will continue to ride a Tyco BMW.“I’ve always enjoyed riding in the Supersport class so I’m pleased to be riding for Jackson Racing alongside Tyco BMW in 2018,” Dan Kneen says. “Last year’s ride at the TT was all very last minute and we didn’t get much practice time due to the weather while I was also spending a lot of time on the big bikes but the team did a great job in preparing the little Honda so I’m looking forward to being back with them.“We didn’t really have any expectations last year but although I got the pit lane penalty, we took a good eighth place and I was delighted to record my best ever 600cc lap.”“That shows the potential of the bike and there’s definitely plenty more to come particularly as we’ll have plenty of miles under our belt both in pre-season testing and in practice. It’s great to have the ride secured as you don’t want to be missing out on races your rivals may be competing in and I’m confident we’ll pick up some good results and have a strong year together.”Alan Jackson, Team Principal, also commented: “Following a successful time at the 2017 TT when Dan was a last minute stand-in, it’s great to have him on board for the full road racing season this year. We really enjoyed working with him at last year’s TT where he did a superb job for us after very limited track time and we know the combination of Dan and the Honda is capable of getting on the podium. We’ll be working hard to achieve just that and with a lot more preparation this time around, we’re confident of some good times in 2018.”As for Johnston, he is healthy and returns in 2018 with the Honda Racing team, riding next to Ian Hutchinson. The man typically on the Honda Racing CBR1000RR – 23-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness – will campaign with Norton in 2018.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!