Isle of Man TT: Gary Johnson crashes out of Superbike opener on final lap

No Caption ABCDE EMN-150806-151749002
No Caption ABCDE EMN-150806-151749002

Gary Johnson escaped unhurt after crashing out on the final lap of his Isle of Man TT curtain-raiser.

The Broughton racer was holding a fine sixth place in the first of the festival’s six-lap Superbike TT races when he lost the front wheel at Guthrie’s and slid from his GBmoto Kawasaki.

Johnson’s race was over with just the Mountain section of the course remaining, but importantly he is fit to ride in his remaining races on the island.

He said: “From lap four onwards I was struggling a bit as I had lost part of my windshield, and no doubt I’ll have a stiff neck from leaning under the piece that was left!

“I just slid off the bike when I lost the front and although I am okay, I’m disappointed as I was so near to the finish.”

Johnson and his fellow riders were left frustrated as practice week was hampered by strong winds and rain on the 37.73-mile mountain road course, allowing them just two decent practice evenings.

Saturday’s opening race was also postponed because of further high winds which made it impossible for the air med helicopter to fly, and the six-lap Superbike race finally got under way on Sunday afternoon.

Riders set off at 10-second intervals and Gary was in fifth place on time at the first checkpoint of Glen Helen.

He fell back to sixth place and came in for his first fuel stop in that position at the end of lap two.

But he lost a lot of time on the pit stop and began the third lap down in eighth.

Johnson made good progress and soon began to make up time, climbing back into sixth position which he held through the second fuel stop at the end of lap four.

He held station all the way to the final lap, and was running comfortably in sixth place on time when his race came to an unscheduled end.

Johnson’s TT continues this week with the Supersport, Lightweight and Senior TT races.