News 14 Apr 2010

ASBK: Frustrating Hidden Valley for Johnson and KTM

Johnson had a frustrating race weekend in the NT.

Johnson had a frustrating race weekend in the NT.

KTM Superbike Team star Shannon Johnson has spoken out about his nightmare weekend at Hidden Valley’s second round of the Viking Group Australian Superbike Championship, the Victorian suffering a disappointing race day come Sunday afternoon’s racing.

Johnson qualified ninth for the weekend after barely missing Superpole, before race one saw him crash out on the warm-up lap in the wet after his spare ‘wet’ bike developed an electrical problem and left him stranded on the grid. From there, things went from bad to worse for Johnson, his number one bike also suffering in the dry leg two and forcing him to settle for 11th.

“Well what can I say? After many years of racing I know you can have good days and then you can have bad days, then there are days to be happy you can walk away from them and have a laugh,” Johnson explained. “Somewhere in between all that is our day. One thing that I can rely on is that every single person on the KTM Superbike Team and partners that supports the team will eliminate our weak areas and improve dramatically from here.”

Speaking of his warm-up lap crash, Johnson said, “The bike was experiencing some electrical issues and as a result we had difficulty starting it for the warm up lap of the race. After a minute or so we got it going and I rushed off.

“In hindsight I should have just waited for the rest to come back around to form up, during the lap I was making sure to get back as quick as possible so not to make the rest of the field wait. My concentration was focused on that, I was also experiencing some of the effects of the electrical issue, along with my body already protesting any quick sharp movements a mistake was imminent.

“After exiting the last turn on the main straight I looked up to see the grid still there, then I had a quick look at the dash to check for no warnings, next thing I know I’m slapped on the track then sliding up the main straight on my back. Between me rushing and not concentrating I crashed in a straight line after hitting some wet paint”

For race two, Johnson again had tough luck, his weekend coming to a frustrating close despite a positive test in the Top End in the week leading up to the event.

“I was fairly tight and stiff from morning warm up more so than crash,” he said. “The promoters decided not to run the media grid due to time delays, however they still held us on the grid for a number of minutes almost five. In that time the engine temp grew rapidly as I didn’t want to turn the bike off.

“By the time we started the warm up lap the electronic system had switched the bike into ‘limp mode’, meaning the bike was producing much less power to keep the temperature down. During the warm up lap the air flow got the water temp down, only to be held a bit more before the start of the race.

“A short time into the race the oil and water temp grew to the point where the bike was shutting down due to extreme heat. One thing I can be thankful of is that the race laps were reduced and I limped home for eleventh. I’m not sure how the laws of averages are meant to work but I’m sure that if things happen in threes that’s my bad luck done for the year!”

Johnson will now look forward to the Queensland Raceway round of the series on 4-6 June, where he will continue to develop the all-new RC8 R.