Mar 2, 2012
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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Taylor Knapp. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy of AMA Pro Racing
After losing his seat on the CN Racing team for the 2012 Metzeler British 1000cc Superstock Championship, a development that was reported exclusively on Roadracingworld.com, American rider Taylor Knapp has found a new ride in the series with GR Motosport, the factory Aprilia team in the class.
Earlier this week Knapp learned that the ride he thought he had secured with CN Racing last November had been given away to another rider.
"I got a text from a friend," Knapp told Roadracingworld.com February 28, "and he said, 'What's up with the press release [from CN Racing]?' I had no idea, because I hadn't seen it. Apparently, I'm being replaced. I don't really know what's going on. No one ever gave me a phone call or anything. I haven't heard a single word from them. Obviously, I don't have a place on the team now. He's got my number and apparently the rider has come in and paid for the ride is what's happened."
Knapp said he was left only with plans to do two non-conflicting rounds of the AMA Pro National Guard Superbike Championship on a Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R1000.
But that all changed today when Brent Gladwin, owner of GR Motosport Aprilia, called Roadracingworld.com to enthusiastically announce that he had cut a deal to bring Knapp back to the Metzeler British 1000cc Superstock series for 2012.
"We learned about Taylor's situation when we saw it on your site," said Gladwin. "We heard a rumor that something had gone wrong. When we saw it on your site we were looking for a rider for our Aprilia RSV4, because our rider Marshall Neill is still recovering from injury."
Neill suffered a high-speed crash at the end of the 2011 season at Brands Hatch that resulted in several fractured bones, including a badly broken lower leg. According to Gladwin, Neill hasn't regained full mobility in that leg, forcing the team to look for another rider.
"We saw Taylor's experience on the twin-cylinder Buell [1190RS Superbike] and Suzuki [GSX-R600 Daytona SportBike] in America and the way he rode the Kawasaki [ZX-10R in British 1000cc Superstock events in 2011], and it seems he can adapt to any bike," said Gladwin. "To be fair, Taylor's results here last year were blooming good! Plus, with bringing WD-40 Specialist on board as a sponsor, an American company, it worked out good for everybody."
"Yeah, it's pretty cool," Knapp told Roadracingworld.com Friday. "I had been talking to Brent for a while, and he has been trying to put together some sponsorship money. Honestly, I didn't think anything was going to come out of it. Then he called me up and said everything was good to go. In the end it worked out good. I appreciate the help."
UPDATE: After this story was posted GR Motosport Team Owner Gladwin wanted to clarify that Knapp is not replacing Neill and that Neill will have a spot on the team as soon as he is fully recovered from his injuries. "It will be a great pairing," Gladwin wrote in an e-mail.