Former Australian Supersport Champion Shannon Johnson will stand in for Wayne Maxwell on the Demolition Plus GAS Honda Racing CBR1000RR in the Australian Superbike support races at Phillip Island on 15-17 October.
Johnson had been hoping to secure a Moto2 wild card ride for the event, instead now set to replace Maxwell after he confirmed yesterday that he’ll be on the Moto2 grid.
“After almost three months and over 450 hours put in I had secured the funds and sponsorship needed to race in the official MotoGP World Championship at Phillip Island in the Moto 2 class,” Johnson explained.
“Sadly due to reasons beyond my control it is not possible to make use of the hard work put into this project due to my age, the team I was speaking with was trying to make a special dispensation with Dorna as it has already been done for another rider.
“But to no avail. I would like to make a very special thanks to a few people that made a significant contribution to my efforts not only with financial support but with many hours of their own time – Richard Marrocchini, Paddy Griffin, QBE Insurance, ONE HD, AMCN, and everyone that offered their support, it certainly is a great industry!”
KTM Superbike Team regular Johnson will donate the left over funds from his Moto2 bid to a children’s charity.
“As there is always a winner and a loser, in this case I lose out on fulfilling a dream and racing in the MotoGP World championship but the winners will be a charity close to me ‘Challenge for Kids’ with cancer.
“I said to all partners up front that supported me that if I am unable to make the ride happen the funds will be returned, which some have said to keep it.
“So whatever is left over after returning the funds will be to the benefit of some special kids. Not to mention making my wife happy I can return the money I borrowed from our house…”
Johnson is excited to have the opportunity to fill in for Maxwell in the non-championship ASBK category at the Island.
“My current KTM Superbike Team made a decision some time ago not to compete in the MotoGP Superbike support events due to budget restraints and it being a non-championship event,” he explained.
“I very recently gained a clearance from my current KTM Superbike Team that I will be racing the KTM RC8R for at the final round of the ASBK championship at Symmons Plains Tasmania in November, so I was able to accept a special offer from another team and manufacturer.
“The Demolition Plus GAS Honda Racing team have been left without a rider for this event and needed to make sure their CBR1000RR was on the grid. I feel very privileged that I was the one that both Honda and the Demolition Plus GAS Honda Racing Team turned to as a fill in rider.”