Interviews 8 May 2018

Unplugged: Zack Johnson

What makes the up and coming Australian Supersport racer tick.

Words: Russell Colvin

Image: Supplied.

My Way

Greatest moment of your career?

That would have to be being offered to ride for KTM Thailand in the KTM RC 390 Cup. It was just a great opportunity to be offered a ride like that, to be able to further my career.

Toughest race ever?

My toughest race would have to be this year’s 8-Hour in Thailand. We had bike problems, my two teammates and I all crashed. It was just a really hard race and one I was glad to get away from in one piece.

Long-term goal?

Not have to ever work again and race bikes for a living! I would really hope to be able to one day pick up a factory ride here within Australia or overseas as well. That’s the goal but, to be able to ride for a factory team and make a living out of it.

Favourite track?

I would have to say, Sepang in Malaysia. It’s just a fast track with long sweeping turns which makes it so much fun to ride on! It really is a cool track to ride on without a doubt.

Arch-rival?

Everyone is an arch-rival! I want to beat everyone on track when I race.

If you weren’t a racer, you would be?

Valentino Rossi’s pit bitch [laughs].

Greatest inspiration?

Rossi, for sure! He’s a cool character and he can show all the younger riders how he’s still able to ride like a champion, at the age of 39.

Superstitions?

Not at all. Whatever goes, goes.

Training methods?

Yeah, I do gym work four times a week and do a fair bit of cycling as well. On top of that, I do a bit of motocross riding from time to time as well to keep my bike fitness up.

Off the Wall

Non bike-related hobbies?

Catching up with mates, sleeping and training.

What car do you drive?

Currently driving a Holden SV6 ute. It’s my pride and joy!

What’s your preferred music?

Whatever is on the radio at the time – I’m not that fussed to be quite honest. I’m easy pleased, so will listen to whatever is playing.

Best thing about racing in Australia?

Being able to talk to one another in English.

Who will win WorldSBK this year?

I would have to say it will be Jonathan Rea. I can’t see anyone beating him again this year… he’s all class.

How about MotoGP?

I would love to say The Doctor, but no one will beat Marc Marquez.

First and Last

First bike?

Good old Yamaha PW50, which we still own in fact!

First proper injury?

When I broke my right leg in 2016, I broke my tibia and shattered my ankle while I was motocross training. The end result saw me getting a plate, few pins and screws in my leg and ankle.

First time you got in a fight?

Never been in a fight and never will be. What’s the point in fighting?

Last holiday?

Start of the year when I went to Thailand.

Last big crash you had?

At the official ASBK test at The Bend Motorsport Park. Had a good old front-end tuck, which left our bike a bit second hand.

One or the Other

Faster circuits or more technical circuits?

Faster circuits have always been a favourite of mine, purely because I love the way circuits, such as Phillip Island, just flow and all connect together. I love going fast!

Monster or Red Bull?

Red Bull, because it gives you wings.

PC or Mac?

Mac.

McDonalds or KFC?

Micky Ds! Can’t go past a good load of nuggets and sweet and sour sauce.

MotoGP or WorldSBK?

MotoGP, because Rossi races there.

Print or digital magazines?

Print. Just good to grab a printed magazine and read one while flying to race meetings.

Blonde or brunette?

Doesn’t bother me. There all the same, but if I had pick, I would say blonde.

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