Dan Kruger and the Official Hong Kong Kawasaki Superbike Team Win 2019 SPEED HERO China Endurance Race
January 6, 2019-Zhuhai, China
Dan Kruger and Zhuhai local Rongli Wu powered their new Hong Kong Kawasaki ZX-10RR to the team’s 5th consecutive win at the popular SPEED HERO China Endurance Race, a three-hour event held January 6 at Zhuhai International Circuit. They got a great start and led the first few laps before Kruger had to relinquish the lead due to intense post arm-pump surgery infections at the incision site that would require him to ride with a modified glove and pain medicine. He would spent the rest of the race testing his pain threshold by exchanging quickest laps with their main competitor, Macau-based Dainese Lash Kawasaki Team. Kruger’s Team would slip back to 2nd and focus on a race for 2nd overall as 3rd place ACE Yamaha kept within 10 seconds of them for most of the race.
In the final hour, Kruger had been taking on more stints than his teammate to take advantage of his quicker pace and try to hold on to 2nd overall. The ACE Yamaha team would have their engine let go and that left oil all over the racing line. It also saw leaders Dainese Lash low-side in the oil along with several other teams which brought out the safety car for 3 laps. That was the break that Kruger’s Kawasaki Team needed as they pitted early, Dan went out and regained the overall lead. They never looked back and took a hard-fought victory which also added to their unbeaten record for this event.
“I cannot believe that we pulled this one off,” said Kruger. “12 hours earlier, I was in a local hospital dealing with a really painful infection along my wrist and directly on the palm of my hand wondering if we would need to pull out of the event. My wife and kids surprised me and flew over from the USA so it was the perfect time to get on the top step of the podium. My 3-year-old son Aiden had never seen me race and my 5-year-old daughter had only seen me race at the IOM TT and the EWC Suzuka 8-Hour but she didn’t really remember any of that so this was a really great feeling for me. Our team managed our pit strategy flawlessly and my teammate rode consistently and gave me the breaks I needed to regroup and dig deep for continued energy/determination that I didn’t think I had in me.”
Kruger is back in China in 12 days for a three-day pre-season test as his Japanese engineers will fly over and fit a new Superbike motor directly from Japan with some special KRT parts and prepare for the 2019 Superbike Season in China.
As the team plans to participate in the EWC Sepang 8-Hour in December this year, this event certainly gave them the needed confidence to compete against the World’s best.
The entire team would like to thank all of their sponsors which include: Titanic Kawasaki, Motul, Pirelli, EBC, UPG, Hindle, Dainese, Xlite, BG, Brembo, Ktech, RK, Mototron, RS-Itoh, and Nature Power. A special thanks to Paul Patos and Dan’s family for making the journey over.
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