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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Isle of Man TT mission for Barrow boy Stewart

DAN STEWART’S six years of Isle of Man Tourist Trophy experience have seen him firmly established as the paddock’s dark horse – but the Barrow ace insists it’s high time he made the leap onto the podium.

While the 37.73-mile Mountain Course is more often than not dominated by the big-spending factory-backed riders, the Furness businessmen certainly bucks the trend.

The 36-year-old has 13 top-10 finishes to his name in that time, but with a best of sixth – on three occasions – Stewart admits the podium itch is starting to irk him.

And the Barrow rider would like nothing better than to make his first trip to the podium in one of the week’s big two races – either the Dainese Superbike Race or the Pokerstars Senior TT.

With both those showdowns coming on the all-singing, all dancing superbikes, they are the most coveted prizes of all and Stewart said: “I’ve been going over to the island for six years and the ambition is to get into the top three if I can in one of the superbike races.

“I think it is something that is definitely possible. We are not a million miles off.

“I would need a bit of luck of course as there as some great riders out there especially in the factory team.

“It’s quite simple really how I would get there. Grit my teeth and go a bit quicker.

“We are also running Dunlop tyres instead of Pirellis this year, which I am hoping could make a little difference as well.

“Then there is the course knowledge which you obviously add to each year and add all those things up and hopefully we can get on the podium.”

But while tasting the superbike champagne is a key aim, Stewart is also anxious to iron out the mechanical issues that plagued his 2011 bid. As a privateer, Stewart builds his own machinery so admits completing a race without any technical problems on the notoriously tricky Mountain Course is as much a victory as his final finishing position.

Stewart failed to finish one of the two supersport races due to bike gremlins and added: “Last year I didn’t finish out of the top ten in the races I finished but we had a mechanical problem in the supersport race which was disappointing. Building my own bikes I take pride in not having any problems with the bike so I’d like to make sure we finish every race this year and hopefully have a good week.”

l The 2012 Isle of Man TT Races, fuelled by Monster Energy, will be shown every evening, usually at 9pm, on ITV4 from today until June 11.

For more information on the event and for live Radio TT commentary and live timings, as well as the full ITV4 schedule, go to www.iomtt.com

Have your say

Best of luck to Dan -- top ten or podium, either is a major achievement at the TT. I know... In 2002, I quit my job in America, sold everything I owned, and moved to the Isle of Man to race there. I told the story in my book, Riding Man. The print edition is sold out, but it is now available on the Amazon UK site's Kindle store. If you need a summer read, and are a TT fan, check it out...

Posted by Mark Gardiner on 28 May 2012 at 19:46

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