News 1 Jun 2009

ASBK: Johnson surprised with podium placings in Honda debut

Shannon Johnson PR:

Event: Round 3a / 3b Australian Supersport Championship
Date: 28th- 31st May
Venue: Queensland Raceway, Willowbank, Queensland
Weather: Mostly fine, mid 20’s

Round 3 A                                           Round 3 B
Qualification:                 5th                                                        7th

Race Results Race1:     4th                                                         3rd
Race 2:     3rd                                                        5th

Overall Results:

1st: J Stauffer Yamaha R6                                  1st: B Staring Yamaha R6
2nd: B Staring Yamaha R6                                   2nd: J Stauffer Yamaha R6
3rd: Shannon Johnson Honda CBR600RR           3rd: Shannon Johnson Honda CBR600RR

Privateers Cup Results:

1st: Shannon Johnson Honda CBR600RR            1st: Shannon Johnson Honda CBR600RR

Rider Report:

Surprised? Well I sure am anyway, heading into the weekend I was not 100% sure what to expect.

First I will give you the run down on how it all started. After enjoying a successful outing with the Pro Con Motologic Racing Team in the Victorian SBK Championships earlier in the year, Wayne Hepburn (ProCon), Greg Epis (Response Racing), & Paul Free (Motologic) got together and devised a plan to create a Honda CBR600RR race bike / package to compete & challenge the official factory teams. Gratefully they had me in mind as the rider, allowing me an amazing opportunity to once again compete in the ASBK. I wish to also make special mention to Jeff Leisk & Rob Twyerould for allowing me to take up this challenge whilst still continuing to work closely with them for the remainder of the year.

Everything really came together in the week leading up to the race, so tight was the timing I only had the chance to ride the bike for no more than 25 laps the Friday before the event at a local circuit track day. Needless to say with the three mentioned companies involved I had everything needed to be competitive from lap one, the rest was up to me to make the most of it.

Now looking back on the weekend it seems like a blur, less than a few weeks ago I was only going to be sitting at home watching the event on the web.  To be now looking at two 3rd place trophies & a 1st in Privateer Cup thinking “How can I be so Lucky?” The weekend itself was a truly amazing debut for the whole Pro Con Motologic Response Racing Team, everyone involved in the team put everything they could in & I’m just very fortunate to be the rider.

From the first session to the last race we improved our lap times by over 2 seconds, in doing so closed the gap to the front running lap times making it possible to fight for podiums. And fight I did, over all four races I worked as hard as the team had done in the past week. Some of the battles I had with both factory & privateer riders was very exciting & lots of fun to be a part of, it is a credit to the riders involved to know that we can trust each other whilst still racing elbow to elbow over 200kph.

One race in particular my margin over 4th was 0.001! Thankfully the cycle racing I took part in over summer taught me something special, which literally got me across the line. More importantly it creates a great spectacle for the many spectators that came out on the weekend, one that I hope will bring them back again.

One of the most rewarding feelings I had over the weekend was standing atop the podium receiving my award & looking down to see such a large number of people not only from my team, but competing teams, & spectators giving me such a genuine warm reception. I know my history as do many others, I have moved on & it is nice to see that others have too.

I was told it is great to have someone to come in and give it to the factory boys as the late Judd Greedy was before he was tragically taken, whilst I took it as a warm compliment it seems rather unjust. Judd was winning & I’m sure still would be, while I’m not. If I can in the remaining rounds achieve what he had in previous rounds then it will still feel a second place, God Speed Judd.

I now change my focus to prepare for the upcoming FX series, whilst I know this is a press release for ASBK I want to point out to everyone that even with both series competing they are still motorcycle racing series that offer everyone great enjoyment, both to competitors & the spectator so remember that as no one wants to be left with nothing. Trust me I know, I was there.

Thanks to my personal sponsors that have supported and protected me.
Arai Helmets, Berik Leathers, Boots & Gloves, Musashi Health & Sports Supplements, Mi-Cut Australia, The Creative Ones, Impact Armor.

Thanks Pro Con Racing, Response Racing, Motologic, & for this chance, roll on SJAY Version 4point2. We have six months of catching up on….