Dan Kruger’s Blog: My Road to the Isle of Man TT – Part II

Dan's racebikes


malaysian air flight as I boarded it

Dan Pills in China for stomach virus-April 2014

dan selfie in front of track sign

lap timer from BMW Cup-Transponder

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Dan Kruger’s Blog: My Road to the Isle of Man TT



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Dan Kruger’s Racing in China Blog – Tips for surviving the off-season blues


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Interview with BMW Motorrad – Dan Kruger


dan Kruger

Dan Kruger has forged a career travelling around the world racing in various national and international motorcycle championships but he has always wanted a shot at the legendary Isle of Man TT and the NorthWest 200 road races. Finally, the Canadian-based racer has his chance with the Penz13.com BMW Racing Team, with the added benefit of direct assistance from BMW Motorrad HP RaceSupport.

Motorsport is in Kruger’s blood and he’s been competing since the age of 10 on two, three and four wheels. Having started out in Supercross and Arenacross on ATVs, he conquered flat track and ice racing and then even tried jet-ski racing and oval track car racing before discovering just how quick he was on a Superbike! He’s achieved notable success in the China Superbike Series, where he has finished second overall for the past three seasons, so he is hoping that it will be fourth time lucky for his 2014 championship challenge, which starts on 21 March in Zhuhai, China.

Even though he’s yet to ride a BMW Superbike, his racing exploits have attracted the attention of former international racer Rico Penzkofer, who has signed him up to partner Brit Simon Andrews for this season’s road racing events. We interview the high-flyer from Montreal who will be making his TT and NW200 debut and using BMW power for the first time.

How does a Canadian end up racing in China?

Not very easily! I was doing business in Hong Kong when I met the Kawasaki distributor for Hong Kong/China and they invited me for a test. I started racing 600s for them and then really found my speed when I hopped on a Superbike. It took several years to understand how to do things in China and adjust to the culture, but they now embrace the fact that I am racing with them and life is good.

How are you balancing racing with fatherhood and working as a small business owner in the renewable energy sector?

Good question! By taking sleep out of the equation! I have always travelled for work so that part is not new, but it is much harder to go on these trips with my adorable baby staring at me as I leave the house. It really is a balance and I bring my family with me to the occasional trip. They will not be with me for the NW200 but they will be by my side for the TT. My wife Holly has been over to China quite a few times to watch me racing over there.

How much time have you spent travelling over the past few years?

I travel on average two weeks out of a month and am usually in China once a month. I also travel to Europe, Australia, Japan, and of course within North America fairly regularly. I have travelled my entire life so it has become a part of life. However, riding motorbikes all over the world only started five years ago. I do enjoy seeing new places, different cultures and new racetracks and race teams. Everywhere I go is different so there’s always lots of learning and adapting.

Ever raced BMW bikes before?

No, never even been on one. I heard they are easy to get used to and blazingly fast, so I am looking forward to it.

You once said you’d love the chance to race at the TT. Well, now you have this chance, so how does it feel?

Actually it hasn’t really sunk in. There has been so much media attention already that I have yet to really focus on the fact I will get to experience the TT. I know I am fortunate to have this opportunity and in some ways, I am glad that Simon Andrews is my teammate since he is the one most likely to feel the pressure. I am a newcomer to the TT and although I am riding for a premier team, the expectations for me to go out there and wheelie past the frontrunners is definitely not there – although that would certainly stir things up!

How do you intend to familiarise yourself with the TT course?

I will watch some videos but nothing can prepare you like being on a bike and riding around the course. I will get as much time on the course as allowed and hopefully find some racers to hook up with.

When are you testing with Rico’s team and where?

I am testing with the team on 19-20 April over in France at Magny-Cours. Since I have never ridden a BMW, ridden on that racetrack, or ridden with this team, it will be a steep learning curve! I am pretty sure I will be sharing the track with the World Endurance guys so it should be fairly hectic out there.

How competitive is the Chinese Superbike series?

It is really becoming competitive. Since it has a lot of media exposure within China, you can expect over 20,000 fans on a given race day and the organisers are now getting too many race entries so they are starting to enforce entry cut-offs and qualifying times 107% of pole position. It is not as competitive as a similar series in Australia or Germany and certainly less competitive than the BSB but you will get the odd Moto2 rider or the Malaysian kids will come over and race with us to get more familiar with fast tracks and large displacement bikes. There are a few racing in Moto2 currently that have raced over in China with me.

What bikes and teams are you riding for at Suzuka and the China SBK series?

I am racing for Team JP/Dogfight on a Yamaha for the Suzuka 8 Hour. I have tested with them several times over the past few years and they are an all-Japanese team but a really well run team. In China, I race with Kawasaki and we have a very close relationship. I have been with them since the beginning over five years ago. Other manufacturers have approached me but I am really happy with my current team and they really do treat me like family.

Thanks Dan, good luck for the 2014 season.

Kruger will travel to the Isle Of Man shortly to meet with officials for a mandatory two-day “newcomer” instruction as well as participate in several laps with Milky Quayle (the Associate for TT Newcomers) to become familiar with the course and road racing in general.

For Principal Rico Penzkofer, it is an exciting time for the German-based team that has years of experience in the road racing scene. With direct race support from BMW Motorrad and two hungry riders, expectations are naturally high for the 2014 season, as Rico confirms:

“Dan has really dominated over in China these past few years and is ready to take on a new challenge. He shows the maturity needed to safely take on the TT. I am really looking forward to working with him and I am pretty confident he will adapt to the BMW very quickly. I am really looking forward to this season, in particular having a Canadian racing for us at the TT and also giving Simon Andrews a chance to show the world that he is back from serious injury and he means business.”

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Isle of Man Videos – MUST SEE!

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More Isle of Man Press – LOTS OF IT! All over the World…












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Two 2nd Place finishes for the China Superbike Championship Season Opener


I was definitely looking for the wins but to be honest, my mind has been on the Isle of Man these days. I need to get back focused for the June round as 2nd place is the first loser right?









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BIG NEWS: Racing the Isle of Man TT this year for BMW


Dan Kruger Penz13 Leather 2014
Dans Helmets for the TT and NW200-BMW

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Hong Kong Magazine did a story on The big Boss of Kawasaki and myself


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China Photo Shoot a Success – Elbows Down was the Story Name

I flew to China for a Story featured in www.bikehk.com it was loads of fun. The story was talking about the new riding style and using the elbows to help gauge lean angles. We had a blast shooting this as we had the track to ourselves and I got to play around on my superbike.




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