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Johnson confirms international plan of attack

25 March 2013

Gary Johnson has confirmed his plans for the international road races in 2013, when he will ride a variety of machines in the feature classes.

The Lincolnshire rider, who claimed his first Isle of Man TT victory in the Supersport division in 2011, hopes to put a disappointing year behind him by his own standards as he attempts to haul himself back into contention for further international success.

The 32-year-old has joined forces with Jack Valentine for the Supersport races, who has reformed his famous Valmoto Racing brand to run the new MV Agusta F3 675 with factory backing at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.

Johnson will also ride a Honda Fireblade in the Superbike class, switching to Kawasaki power for the Superstock races on a ZX-10R.

“I will be concentrating on the roads this year and I have a Honda Fireblade Superbike and ZX-10R Kawasaki Superstock bike as well as the MV,” he said.

“I wanted to pick the best bikes for each class and I wasn't tied to any make.

“The ZX-10 is an international road race-winning machine and Kawasaki were offering me some help so I went that way for the Superstock class.

“The Fireblade is the same bike that I rode in 2011, but we have been working on the engine and the power is up from 185bhp to 207bhp on the dyno already.”

Johnson is excited by the MV Agusta project and is aiming to test the bike for the first time in Spain in April.

“The MV has a great racing heritage and it looks like a million dollars - I just hope it goes like it too,” he said.

“Although I won't be doing any BSB this year I will be going back to Spain with the MV in April so I will have quality time on the bikes before the racing starts.

“I want to do it on my own this year - just me, my mechanic and the bikes in the garage.

“I have some loyal sponsors behind me and I have hired a really experienced mechanic to help me prepare the bikes.”

The popular English rider joined Kiwi Bruce Anstey in Clive Padgett's Honda outfit in 2012 for the Superbike races but failed to earn the results he had hoped for.

Johnson, also a part of the Honda TT Legends team last year, endured a disastrous start to the international road racing campaign when he took out Conor Cummins and Martin Jessopp after running out of brakes at the North West 200.

Manx rider Cummins was ruled out of his home race meeting at the TT after suffering a wrist injury as a result, missing his rides on the Tyco Suzuki machines, while Jessopp sustained a broken collarbone.


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