News 7 Apr 2010

ASBK: Johnson and Trounson fresh for Hidden Valley round

Johnson has had an exciting fortnight in the lead-up to Hidden Valley.

Johnson has had an exciting fortnight in the lead-up to Hidden Valley.

KTM road racers Shannon Johnson and Chris Trounson have spent the last two weeks acclimatising to the humidity they will be racing in at round two of the Australian Superbike Championship, set to take place this weekend at Hidden Valley in the Northern Territory.

During the fortnight in the NT, the duo have settled in as true locals swimming with crocodiles, fishing in monsoon weather, and hanging out with fans at KTM dealerships, but what they’re most looking forward to is burning the rubber at Hidden Valley come tomorrow.

Besides all the local fun, the pair have also spent two and a half days at the Hidden Valley circuit testing on the KTM 1190 RC8 R.

“The KTM Road Racing team have been working really hard on engine development, finding me more usable horse power on the KTM 1190 RC8 R than I could have hoped for,” Johnson said. “The fastest lap time set at the Hidden Valley test last week was 1:08.5 and I’m at 1:08.7 so we’re bridging the gap, and that gives me all the confidence I need to take it to the competition on race day.

“Fitness wise I have also spent a lot of time cycling around town, and I competed in the Darwin Cycling Club Championships as part of my training regime where I got 3rd in the A-B Grade, which was quite satisfying. It was good to mix a bit of competition with my usual training program.”

Superstock 1000 A rider Trounson is also positive heading into the round.

“I did a 1:10 lap time on both new and second hand tyres out at Hidden Valley, and riders usually drop off lap times on second hand tyres, so I’m sure that I can improve on that time in race conditions,” he commented.

“Acclimatising to the weather has been a real benefit to both Shannon and I, because the heat really takes it out of you. It’s great that the KTM Road Racing Team are well equipped for these type of conditions with iced swimming pools, and fans in coolers in the pits for when we ride in between races.”

Phillip Island hosted the opening round of the ASBK where Johnson finished fourth in the Superbike class, and Trounson finished second in the Superstock A class, positions they’re both looking to improve on come round two at Hidden Valley on Sunday.