MOTORCYCLING: Gary Johnson to give GBMoto Kawasaki it road racing debut at North West 200

Gary Johnson. Photo: Clare Freestone EMN-150215-172039001
Gary Johnson. Photo: Clare Freestone EMN-150215-172039001

The factory backed GBMoto Kawasaki squad is set to make its road racing debut with Brigg rider Gary Johnson at the 2015 Vauxhall International North West 200 in May.

The BSB team has signed the double Supersport TT winner to race their ZX10s in both Superbike and Superstock spec as it begins a new between the hedges campaign this season.

Johnson has fond memories of the Northern Ireland venue and is looking forward to the new challenge.

Johnson said: “I first competed at the North West 200 in Superstock in 2007 and was happy to be the fastest ever newcomer. It’s the perfect kick off to the roads season. Testing in Spain is great but you need to get your head round the idea of sustained speeds into the 200mph zone.

GBMoto Team Principal Mark Smith-Halvorsen said: “”We have a good schedule of testing lined up with Gary on both bikes and then we are onto the North West 200, which has such a great history in road racing terms. We know that the event is fantastically well run and the racing looks so exciting from the TV.”

Johnson was a podium finisher on a ZX10 in the 2013 Superstock race at Portrush and he is familiar with the Kawasaki having raced one over the last couple of seasons.

“”You need a fast bike that’s stable in braking and the Kawasaki is renowned as fast as stock.,” The 31-year-old explained.

““It’s a fantastic package and you can see its success in both Superstock and Superbike trim. To make it even better I have massive faith in the GBMoto squad..”

Event Director Mervyn Whyte, MBE said: “”It is 40 years since Mick Grant set a new lap record on a Kawasaki at the North West to make it the fastest circuit in the UK at that time. It is brilliant news that the GBMoto Kawasaki squad has chosen to make its road racing debut at the Triangle with the very latest Kawasaki machines and a top class rider like Gary on board.”

The North West 200 festival takes place during the week May 10-16.