KTM Australia press release:
Motorcycling manufacturer KTM tested the waters in Australian Superbike racing with the entry of international racer Shannon Johnson into the Formula Xtreme Superbike Championship at Winton Motor Raceway (VIC), where Johnson secured two podium positions on the KTM 1190 RC8 R.
Shannon Johnson entered two classes on the KTM 1190 RC8 R, the Formula Oz class where he took the outright win, and the Pro Twin class where he placed second outright to Ryan McLaughlan.
Renowned as a leading European dirt bike manufacturer, KTM also produce a range of less known street bikes, and with a progression into road racing General Manager, Jeff Leisk feels the profile of the KTM street bikes will be lifted.
“KTM entered the Formula Xtreme Superbike event as a testing platform to determine how a professional rider like Shannon Johnson could bring out the best in our signature street bike, the 1190 RC8 R.
“We’re certainly thrilled with his winning result, and will now look to test at future events as we continue to heighten the profile of KTM’s street bike range.”
KTM Road Racing Team Manager, and Technical Director, Rob Twyerould comments, “The Formula Oz class was open to all Superbikes, and KTM had some great competition from the likes of Brayden Carr, who is the current Australian Super-stock Champion on the GSXR 1000.
“To win against Brayden Carr, was a good gauge for KTM because that’s competitive enough to enter the Australian Superbike Championship. Shannon fastest time was a lap time of 1:23.649.
“In Pro Twins class Shannon was up against Ducati’s Ryan McLaughlan, and was showing very competitive times. If it wasn’t for a crash in a slippery section he would have also taken this win. It was very rewarding for KTM to be so competitive with a manufacturer like Ducati.”
Shannon is now preparing for the next round of the Formula Xtreme Superbike Championship on 13/14 June at Eastern Creek. Commenting on his racing with KTM, Shannon Johnson said, “Getting the chance to test the KTM 1190 RC8 R in Superbike Racing is a privilege and a whole lot of fun.
“I rode the bike for the first time at Oran Park and Eastern Creek in NSW, working on basic settings. It’s my first time on a twin race bike, and I can say that this bike is really easy to ride, with very smooth power and a great handling chassis.
“At the Formula Xtreme Superbike Championship, I secured pole position by 2.0 seconds in the Formula Oz class and by 4.8 seconds in the Pro Twins class, which was a good starting point for the event.
“In my first race I led every lap, setting a new lap record, whilst giving the KTM 1190 RC8 R a debut race win. The second race of the day turned out to be research and development exercise, however more on the strength and the bikes durability in a crash.
“I had one of the biggest slip ups I have ever had, when losing traction on a crack in the track that was covered with a silicone based sealant. When wet, damp or cold these cracks are like ice, and become very slippery.
“After some bike maintenance, I continued on with the main racing which turned out to be a dream ride. I won every race, setting new lap records, and most importantly going faster than before the crash.
“I know I can get stronger and with time improve my riding again, and unleash further potential of the KTM 1190 RC8 R, which is my game plan for round two next month.”
The Formula Xtreme Superbike Championship is a five round series. KTM has committed to entering the first two rounds with Shannon Johnson and the KTM 1190 RC8 R, and will reveal as the series continues additional rounds he will contend. Stay tuned to racing results at www.ktm.com.au
Retail News: The 2008 model KTM 1190 RC8 currently has a promotional price running at $23,995, reduced from $26,995. A saving of $3000. Contact your local KTM V-Twin dealer stocking the models.