Dan Kruger isn’t a household name in Canada; most Canadian roadracing fans don’t even know who he is. That’s too bad, because he’s one of Canada’s most successful roadracing exports in years, performing very well in Asian races, and this year he’s also started racing in Europe.
Kruger is racing with the Penz13.com superbike team this year in various European roadraces (most recently at Frohburg), as well as in the Pan Delta series in Asia, where he just ended the season in second place overall. He was set to race in the IOMTT this year, but just before that race, his teammate Simon Andrews was killed in a crash at the NW200 in Northern Ireland.
Kruger is penciled in for the upcoming Macau GP, but as he tells us below, that race is in doubt, thanks to an injury he suffered at the Suzuka 8-Hour endurance race, when he crashed hard while riding an R1 for JP Dogfightracing Yamaha. Read on:
How would you describe this season so far? Obviously, the IOMTT started in tragedy and ended in disappointment. How did that affect the rest of the season? It didn’t affect the rest of my season. I simply had to clear my head and regroup. I wouldn’t say that the TT ended in disappointment, we pulled out for respect to Simon and his family. It felt like the right thing to do so I wasn’t disappointed. I was still deeply affected by it all so it made sense on many levels.
Do you think it shaped your career? Well, it put my career in perspective and reminded me about priorities and where I need to put my family … on the top of that list. It also made it clear to me that I can’t do a proper job racing when my mind is not 100% focused and my confidence level is at its peak.
What was it like to get two great finishes to close the Pan Delta series, after the earlier adversity? It always feels good to be on the podium in any event. The Pan Delta is very competitive now and I had a chance at the Championship so although I had strong results, I left feeling disappointed that I never really fought in the end for top position. I was very limited with my injuries and needed to be smart and just bring it home top three and settle in for second overall in China for 2014.
You said your injury at Suzuka might keep you out of Macau, but you had a solid race at Frohburg, it seems. Why is Macau in doubt? Is it a more dangerous course, or is there some other reason? Frohburg is basically a bunch of Country roads and aside from some heavy braking which was hard on my wrist (Taped it which helped), it is not an aggressive course. I also had a signed contract for that event and didn’t want to break the agreement as BMW and Penz13 have been really good to me. Macau is very dangerous and also more demanding. It also will require top confidence, top health and 100 per cent focus. If I don’t have all of that, it will have to wait for 2015. It is simply not worth the risk.
If you can ride Macau, what’s your plan of attack? Stay on the motorbike and learn the circuit. The circuit can bite hard and there is a lot of top notch competition this year. Most have many years experience at Macau, so basically I would be in school.
Where are you hoping to take your racing career next year? We have already confirmed with Kawasaki for the China Superbike Series and we are still discussing with BMW for the Europe Road Races. It looks like it will happen but still in talks …The main thing is that I need to get fit. I am still battling the Suzuka injury and until that is behind me, it is hard to look too far into the future.
You can follow Kruger’s racing on Facebook here.