Gary Johnson on the road to further success after new Kawasaki deal
Double Isle of Man TT winner Gary Johnson has secured a factory-supported Kawasaki deal for the 2015 International Road Racing campaign with BSB regulars GBMoto - potentially diluting any involvement in the same team for Michael Dunlop, whose whereabouts for 2015 are still unknown.
The Ballymoney man is rumoured to be in contract negotiations with Stuart Hicken's Buildbase BSB squad, with whom he raced for this term - pretty much making a mockery of recent speculation that he would never again ride a BMW on the roads after losing the factory-supported deal.
Johnson, who is a former school associate of fellow Lincolnshire rider Guy Martin, said of the Kawasaki deal: "This is a fantastic opportunity to be working with such a great team and so closely with a major manufacturer.
"I rode for GBMoto in 2011, and they were one of the most professional teams I've ever worked with and they've obviously stepped up again since.
"To see what they did this year in BSB by changing manufacturers and immediately getting podiums was incredible.
"Their infrastructure, bikes and kit is all mega and although this is their first time at the TT, I know they will put all the right pieces in the right places to be successful."
Last Friday night's Action Medical Research Champions of Motorsport SPARKS gala dinner attracted a who's who of motorcycling, with the aforementioned Dunlop joined in the Kings Hall Conference Centre by Ryan Farquhar, Jeremy McWilliams and World Superbike star Jonathan Rea.
Mar-Train Racing team owner Tim Martin collected the Team of the Year Award from broadcaster Pamela Ballantine, and the auction raised almost £21,000 for the charity.