Road racing – Gary Johnson lands supersport ride

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Double TT winer Gary Johnson has signed a deal to ride for Mar-Train Racing at this year’s International North West 200 and Isle of Man TT races.

Mar-Train Racing has agreed terms with Lincolnshire rider which will see him line up alongside fellow Englishman Dean Harrison for the Lisburn outfit in the Supersport races at both International events on YZF-R6 Yamahas.

The 34-year-old electrician has enjoyed considerable international success in the Supersport class winning at the TT in both 2011 and 2014 while he also stood on the podium at last year’s North West 200, but had acrimoniously lost his ride on board the Smiths Racing Triumph to Guy Martin, sparking a public war of words with team boss Rebecca Smith. The move alongside fellow TT winner Harrison gives the official Yamaha UK squad a formidable two pronged attack as they seek to add to their two international road race wins from 2014.

Johnson, who  will also ride factory-supported Kawasaki machinery this year at the international races, said: “I’m really looking forward to getting on the Yamaha, it’s one of the fastest bikes out there and it would be fantastic to win three TT’s for three different manufacturers. The Mar-Train boys do a proper job, they’ve won North West 200s and came close to winning three British Championships from three attempts so you cannot argue with their credentials. Contacting Tim about a Super Sport ride was an easy decision, the standard of his bikes and team are unquestionable. I’m also looking forward to teaming up with Dean, he’s one of my good friends in the paddock and his speed speaks for itself so he will be one of my biggest rivals come race day.”

Mar-Train team owner Tim Martin admitted Johnson was too good a rider to turn down. He said: “Adding a second rider really wasn’t in my plans for this year but when the opportunity arose to do something with Gary I couldn’t turn it down. He’s a double TT winner and perfectly capable of winning for us at the North West as well, he’s a nice lad and gets on with Dean too so he fits in very well. Dean is still our focus for the year as a whole but having Gary on board as well makes for a very exciting May and June for Mar-Train racing.”

Johnson has just completed testing in Spain with his GB Moto team while Harrison and Mar-Train have been taking part in the official Yamaha test at the Alcarras circuit in Spain. Both will return to Northern Ireland to take part in further tests ahead of the North West 200 which takes place May 10-16.

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