This year’s The Motorsport Merchandise Superbike Classic TT Race to be held on August Bank Holiday Monday 29th August has had a late boost to its impressive entry list with the news that Gary Johnson will contest the four-lap race for Team York Suzuki/Big Dog Classic Racing.
Johnson will ride an XR-69 1100cc Suzuki for Kevin Pearson’s team having replaced namesake David Johnson in the team, the Australian having been forced to withdraw after sustaining numerous injuries at the recent Ulster Grand Prix.
The Adelaide resident, who was riding Wilson Craig’s Honda when he crashed in practice at Dundrod, enjoyed an excellent debut with the team in last year’s Motorsport Merchandise Formula One Race. The 32-year old took a fine fifth place, just 15 seconds adrift of the podium, with his fastest lap of the race being an impressive 122.914mph.
Gary has been an ever-present at the Classic TT since the inaugural event in 2013 and although it looked like he’d miss out this year, the late news will see him head into the race as one of the podium contenders.
For the last two years, the Lincolnshire ace has competed in the race for Roger Winfield where he has ridden one of the 1200cc Harris Yamaha’s. He was forced to retire from fifth place in 2014 but bounced back twelve months ago to finish eighth having lapped at 121.332mph on his opening lap and the double TT winner is sure to be in the mix on the Team York Suzuki.
A former racer in the 1980’s York’s Pearson set up his own team, named Big Dog Classic Racing, with support from the York Suzuki Centre, and has been a staunch supporter of both the Classic TT and the Post Classic races that took place at the Manx Grand Prix between 2010 and 2012.
2014 saw Russ Mountford ride for the team, going onto claim a brilliant third place in the Formula One Classic TT race aided by a lap of almost 121mph.
“I am delighted to be joining Team York Suzuki for the Classic TT. Obviously it is a shame that Dave can’t ride the bike due his injuries and I wish him well in his recovery, but hopefully I can build on his performances for the team last year. The team have made a massive effort with the bike preparation and we should be able to challenge for a place on the podium,” said Johnson.