News 28 Sep 2009

Oz RR: Johnson wins KTM's first Superbike title on RC8 R


Internationally renowned racer, Shannon Johnson has won KTM its first title in a Superbike Championship claiming both the Pro Twin and Formula Oz class at the Formula Xtreme Superbike Championship, on board the KTM RC8 R.

The final two rounds of the Championship were held over the weekend at Wakefield Park, (NSW).  Johnson went into the round with a 23 point deficient in the Pro Twin class to Ryan McLaughlan, while in the Formula Oz class he had a 56 point lead.

Mother nature threw everything she had at Johnson with wind, snow, rain, and sunshine seeing the team make more tyre changes in two days then they usually would in one year.  Johnson comments, “I’m thrilled to give KTM its first Superbike Championship title on the RC8 R,” he said.  “The bike ran like a dream thanks to the preparation provided by KTM Team Manager Rob Twyerould, and KTM Technician, David Woodward.

“My main focus at the Wakefield Park final was to win the Pro Twin class, and manage my points lead in the Formula Oz class.  Mother nature didn’t make it easy for anyone with the weather changing constantly, so risk taking was not an option.

“I took seven wins from seven starts in the Pro Twin class, which handed me the title over Ryan McLaughlan, but he certainly didn’t hand me the win, we were dicing in every race.

“In the Formula Oz class I chose to sit out two of the races because of my points advantage going into the event.  The risks were too great with the weather, and constant tyre changes, so it was the right decision to make.   In one race I’d go out on slicks, the next on intermediates, the next on wet tyres, and this just got too risky in maintaining the Championship lead.  The Formula Oz was more about points management, however I am a racer and want to win all the time, so it did take some self discipline to sit out the races, and ride to the conditions.  We finished the round with a points lead of over 50, so the right decisions were made.

“I’m really grateful to have the opportunity to make the record books for KTM, I’m enjoying racing with the team, and look forward to seeing what other events we can conquer on the Australian road racing calendar as the year unfolds.”

Speaking on behalf of KTM, Team Manager and Technical Director, Rob Twyerould added, “We entered the Formula Extreme Championship as a testing ground to see how the KTM RC8 R would hold up amongst the competition, and with a rider like Shannon Johnson behind the bike we knew he could bring out the best in the motorcycle.

“We’re thrilled with the outcome especially in light of the fact that all added racing components to the KTM RC8 R were KTM Power Part additions that anybody into road racing can purchase from a dealership floor.

“We’re now taking our efforts over to Western Australia, to compete in the Kings of Wanneroo International on November 6-7-8, where Shannon will be joined by some other guest riders on the KTM RC8 R in our effort to claim another Championship title.”