Broughton rider Gary Johnson endures testing week at North West 200

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It was a tough week for Gary Johnson at the North West 200 as niggling machine troubles forced him to retire from the Superbike and Superstock races.

Thursday evening’s Superstock race was postponed until Saturday following a red flag, and two more red flags, followed by a lengthy delay saw it eventually cancelled.

With weather affecting the entire race day, the opening Superbike race saw Johnson launch his GBmoto Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R off the line, and ran with the leading group through the opening laps.

But a fault in the tilt switch saw the bike repeatedly cut out, forcing Johnson, from Broughton, near Brigg, to withdraw at the end of lap three.

A short rain shower ahead of the second Superstock race delayed the start but once underway Gary again enjoyed a strong start to the race as he climbed up to eighth from his 13th position on the grid by the half way mark on the opening lap. However with multiple starts on the machine, he encountered problems with the clutch which again meant he had to retire from the race.

The second Supersport race began two-and-a-half hours late after rain delays, and Johnson circulated in ninth for the first five laps of the 8.9-mile public road course before falling back on he final lap to finish 11th.

Strong winds forced the main feature, the Vauxhall NW200 Superbike race, to be cancelled.

Johnson said: “It’s been a bit of a tough event. On one hand we’ve learnt loads with both the Superbike and Superstock machines and have really been able to improve both bikes, but on the other, the results unfortunately don’t reflect that because of two minor problems which forced us out.

“Overall I’m happy with the three machines. It’s been a great test bed and we know what areas we need to improve or work on ahead of the TT.

Gary heads to the Isle of Man for the TT festival where practice begins on May 30.