AFTER his race team pulled out of the British Supersport championship Gary Johnson thought his season was over.
But he has picked himself up, bought the bike from his former team and with the backing of Lincs Lifting is to go it alone for the rest of the 2011 season.
His first appearance under the banner of Lincs Lifting Ltd was at Cadwell Park over the August bank holiday weekend where he powered the 600cc Honda through to a fifth and seventh place in the two Supersport races.
Qualifying saw the talented racer from Broughton near Brigg secure a fourth row start in 12th place.
He said: “East Coast Racing has folded and I decided to buy the bike and all the kit that goes with it and try to run on my own till the end of the year.
“It has put us on the back foot so we are a bit unprepared. But at least I am now in control and am putting in a bit of development work before we move on to Donington for the next round.”
As the 12 lap sprint race got underway on Sunday, Johnson quickly moved up into tenth place and entered into a battle with Jimmy Hill before finally getting the better of him on lap nine.
One lap later he passed Luke Stapleford eventually crossing the finish line in a strong seventh position.
The feature race on Monday was delayed because of the tragic accident that took the life of young Ben Gautrey in the Superstock 600 class. When the race finally got underway Johnson soon settled into eighth place and began his move forward after a couple of laps. He passed Jimmy Hill on lap five and battled with Jack Kennedy for the remainder of the race before finally passing him on the final lap to take a fine fifth place at the chequered flag.
“We changed a few things on the bike for the second race and it paid off. We were using the weekend purely as a test to get the bike sorted out prior to Donington,” he said.
“We have come on in leaps and bounds and I had a good battle with Kennedy who is a seasoned campaigner.
“There is a lot more to be gained out of the bike, I am going to work on the chassis and then test at Mallory next Wednesday.
“I would like to take this opportunity to offer my condolences to the family and team of Ben Gautrey who sadly lost his life in a racing incident on Monday.
“He was a talented young rider who was destined for a successful career in motorcycle racing; he will be missed by all in the paddock.”
The next round is at Donington Park over the weekend of September 7-11 when Johnson will be chasing two more strong results as we enter the final stages of the 2011 British Supersport championship.