Belfast Telegraph

Aussie Johnson's Honda mission

Fire power: David Johnson on the Honda Racing CBR1000RR Fireblade he will ride at the North West
Fire power: David Johnson on the Honda Racing CBR1000RR Fireblade he will ride at the North West

By Roy Harris

Australian David Johnson is the latest recruit to the Honda Racing team, joining Ian Hutchinson in the team for the 2019 fonaCAB International North West 200 in association with Nicholl Oils.

The duo will compete in the Superbike and Superstock events during race week from May 12-18.

“I’m with a new team this year, but everything is working really well and I definitely feel ready to go racing now,” Johnson said after the recent shakedown test at Castle Combe.

Johnson, who switched to Honda from the Gulf BMW squad he raced with in 2018, has replaced Fermanagh’s Lee Johnston on the Honda.

The Louth based outfit has been working to make the latest incarnation of the Fireblade Superbike as competitive as it’s predecessors.

Three time North West 200 winner Hutchinson continues his recovery after breaking his leg following a crash on the Tyco BMW during the 2017 Senior TT.

The Bingley racer, who has been keeping a low profile during his preparations for the 2019 season, disclosed recently that he has been pushing the Honda team for a succession of improvements and innovations to the CBR1000RR.

Johnson (35), who made his North West debut in 2015, feels the bike is now ready to race.

“I’m really happy with how pre-season testing has gone,” Johnson said.

“I’m looking forward to the North West 200. It’s our first race of the year and it’s a great one to kick start the season with. It’s always close racing and I think this year with Honda I’m in the best position I’ve been in a long time to really get things off the ground.”

Alongside his big bike outings on the Honda Racing machines, Johnson will ride a Wilson Craig Honda CBR600RR in the Supersport races at Portrush.

As expected, McAdoo Racing Team rising star Adam McLean, from Tobermore, will miss the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT after a high-speed crash in the Supertwin race at the Tandragee 100 on Saturday.

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