Broughton racer Gary Johnson bids for Macau GP podium

Gary Johnson has finished in the top six at Macau on seven occasions EMN-170611-094357002
Gary Johnson has finished in the top six at Macau on seven occasions EMN-170611-094357002

Gary Johnson will be bidding to add to his tally of podiums when he returns to the Macau Grand Prix next week with the Briggs Equipment Kawasaki.

The Macau GP regular had been due to ride his own Suzuki in the Far East colony, but will instead campaign the Kawasaki ZX-10R which Jake Dixon took to sixth place in the British Superbike Championship.

The Lincolnshire rider, from Broughton, near Brigg, has a tremendous pedigree at Macau having made his debut around the 3.8-mile Guia circuit in 2008.

His best result to date came in 2013 when he finished in third place, and he has finished fourth on three occasions, in 2009, 2012 and 2014, with three more top-six finishes to his name.

The 36-year old was forced to retire from the race 12 months ago, but has recorded excellent results with the Kawasaki ZX-10R on the roads, and although the 2017 season hasn’t exactly gone to plan, he will go into this year’s race as one of the favourites for honours.

Johnson recently completed a shakedown test at Donington Park and managed almost 25 laps, despite poor weather and was able to get the bike adjusted to his frame.

He said: “Time constraints meant it was looking unlikely I’d be able to go to Macau with my own set-up so when Lee called, it was a no-brainer and easy to say yes.

“It’s a well-proven bike and team in BSB and Jake ran consistently in the top 10 all season, won races and made the Showdown so it’s a great opportunity for me.

“I’d obviously liked to have had more laps on the bike, but the test we had at Donington was more than worthwhile as we were able to get the bike set up to suit me and iron out a few issues, plus it was good to start working with Glen Richards, someone who has a wealth of knowledge to tap into.

“The likes of Peter (Hickman), Michael (Rutter), Martin (Jessopp) and Glenn (Irwin) will certainly be the men to beat given their previous form at Macau and the fact they’ve been riding well all season in the British Championships.

“But with everything taken care of now in terms of the bike and the team, I can focus on my fitness to ensure I’m as ready as I possibly can be once practice gets underway.”

Practice and qualifying takes place on Thursday and Friday, November 16 and 17 ahead of Saturday’s 12-lap race.