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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tough podiums for Kruger in China

From Dan Kruger

Overcoming a number of setbacks over the past week, Canadian Dan Kruger managed a pair of podium finishes in the summer round of the Audi-Red Bull Pan Delta Championship at the Zhuhai International Circuit in Zhuhai, China last weekend. A second and third place finish in the Superbike events aboard his Kawasaki/BG Motorsports Kawasaki ZX-10R put the Montreal rider back in the title running.

The first setback came when Kruger's new Kawasaki race bike was held up due to China Customs issues. He was forced to race his old Superbike again, which is clearly showing its age.

Next came the weather. Testing the previous Sunday all the way up to and including qualifying sessions 1 and 2 were run on a wet track. Kruger qualified fourth overall in the rain, which due to a brand new three per row starting grid pushed him back to the second row.

Race 1 saw Kruger drop a few spots after a bad start. He struggled through the race and so did his bike. Heavy smoke was coming out of the exhaust and he fought to find grip. Kruger made a couple of last lap passes to get himself back into third and that's where he ended up.

"To be honest, I am happy to get a podium but not very happy with my lap times or the race in general," he admitted. "At this point, people are expecting me to be fighting for the win, not just a podium."

Race 2 started off better with a good start and Kruger was running with the two leaders. After a few laps the tired engine started showing more signs of its age and was consistently 15km/h slower than the frontrunners down the front straightaway according to the trap speeds. A very well prepared Japanese Yosh Endurance team running a GSX-R1000 got by Kruger under power as did a Macau rider. At that point, Kruger put his head down and chased them with determination to get past them for a podium. In the end, Kruger wound up second in Superbike.

The team would like to thank its sponsors Titanic Kawasaki, BG Motorport, Pirelli, Arlen Ness/Berik, Speedmaster, Ohlins, and more. A special thanks goes to to WSB rider Ruben Xaus for taking some time coaching Dan a few weeks back at the circuit while they were both in China for an Arlen Ness PR event.

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