TT winner Gary Johnson races on despite team quitting Supersport series

Gary Johnson at Cadwell Park (Dave Yeomans)

Isle of Man TT winner Gary Johnson is determined to finish his season of racing in the British Supersport Championship despite his team pulling out of the series.

The Broughton racer was left without a ride when East Coast Racing quit the championship, but Johnson refused to give up. He bought the 600cc Honda from his former team and, with the backing of Lincs Lifting, headed to Cadwell Park over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Despite going it alone, Johnson enjoyed two of his best results so far this year, a 5th and a 7th, and is now determined to finish the season.

The winner of the 2011 Monster Energy Supersport 2 race at the TT said:

“East Coast Racing has folded and I decided to buy the bike and all the kit that goes with it and try to run on my own until the end of the year. It has put us on the back foot so we are a bit unprepared, but at least I am now in control and am putting in a bit of development work before we move on to Donington for the next round.”

Sunday’s 12-lap sprint race saw Johnson into 10th at the start and battling with Jimmy Hill until, on lap nine, he moved past. One lap later he passed Luke Stapleford and eventually crossed the line in 7th.

Monday’s feature race, delayed due to the tragic Superstock 600 accident which claimed the life of Ben Gautrey, saw Johnson settle into 8th for two laps before beginning his move forward. He passed Hill on lap five and battled with Jack Kennedy until passing him on the final lap to take a fine fifth.

Johnson added: 

“We changed a few things on the bike for the second race and it paid off. We were using the weekend purely as a test to get the bike sorted out prior to Donington. We have come on in leaps and bounds and I had a good battle with Kennedy who is a seasoned campaigner.”

“There is a lot more to be gained out of the bike, I am going to work on the chassis and then test at Mallory next Wednesday.”

He also paid tribute to young racer Gautrey:

“I would like to take this opportunity to offer my condolences to the family and team of Ben Gautrey who sadly lost his life in a racing incident on Monday. He was a talented young rider who was destined for a successful career in motorcycle racing; he will be missed by all in the paddock.”

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