McWilliams set to replace injured Kneen

PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 8/5/2016: Mar-Train Yamaha's Tim Martin announces that MotoGP legend Jeremy McWilliams is to replace the injured Dan Kneen in the Saintfield based team at the Vauxhall International North West 200 as Event Director, Mervyn Whyte looks on.'PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 8/5/2016: Mar-Train Yamaha's Tim Martin announces that MotoGP legend Jeremy McWilliams is to replace the injured Dan Kneen in the Saintfield based team at the Vauxhall International North West 200 as Event Director, Mervyn Whyte looks on.'PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

Former MotoGP star, Jeremy McWilliams is to replace Dan Kneen in the Mar-Train Yamaha squad at this week’s North West 200.

This comes after the 28-year-old Manxman broke his arm in a mountain biking crash.

Double North West winner McWilliams will now ride the blue and white liveried R1 and R6 Yamahas for the Saintfield based squad.

“It is nice to be able to step in for Dan and help the team out this week,” he said.

“I have a great relationship with Tim and the team and have experience of working with them in the past. I’m keen to race the North West 200 with another professional outfit and my duties will be divided between SGS/KMR and Mar-Train during the week. I am looking forward to getting on the Yamahas to see how far they have come on over the past year.”

McWilliams worked with the team in 2015, testing the R1 and R6 alongside Dean Harrison at the squad’s initial outings with the new machinery.

“Obviously I am disappointed for Dan that this has happened, we have had a fantastic build up to the event and I was confident he would have been very competitive,” Mar-Train boss Tim Martin said.

“Thankfully the minor surgery he had has gone very well, he is now on the road to recovery and we are hopeful he will be fit for the TT in a few weeks time. At this late stage there were not many options available to us so we are very lucky that we have been able to bring in someone of Jeremy’s pedigree.”

Tandragee 100 winner Kneen is distraught at having to miss the opening international event of the season.

“I’m gutted for the whole team after all the work that has been put in, I’m on my bike every day and wasn’t doing anything different than usual, it was plain bad luck,” he explained.

“Surgery has gone well today so all I can do is concentrate on getting fit and back on the bikes as soon as possible. I wish Jeremy all the best for this week, it is great that he has been able to step in for Tim, Sonya and all the sponsors.”

“We are disappointed that Dan Kneen wont be with us this year,” Event Director, Mervyn Whyte, MBE, said.

“Although the fans will be very sad to hear of Dan’s misfortune, they will now have the opportunity to see Jeremy on the Mar-Train Yamahas, he has the experience and knowledge to do a great job.”